China says Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan is ‘farce’

China’s foreign minister criticized Ms. Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan as “a farce”, saying those who harm Beijing will be punished.

“The US is violating China’s sovereignty under the guise of so-called democracy,” Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said on the sidelines of an ASEAN meeting in Phnom Penh, Cambodia today, saying that his visit to Taiwan US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi “a complete farce”.

This is the first time Foreign Minister Wang Yi has spoken out about Ms. Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan since she arrived on the island. “Those who cause harm to China will be punished,” Wang said, without elaborating.

Foreign ministers of ASEAN countries and more than 10 other countries are gathering in Phnom Penh to attend regional conferences. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken was also present, but is not expected to meet his Russian or Chinese counterparts, amid heightened tensions over Ukraine and Taiwan.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi in Bali, Indonesia, on July 7.  Photo: AFP.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi in Bali, Indonesia, on July 7. Image: AFP.

The comment was made by Mr. Wang after US House Speaker Pelosi met with leader Tsai Ing-wen this morning. Speaking at the meeting, Ms. Pelosi said the visit showed US support for Taiwan.

“Today, our delegation came to Taiwan to make it clear that we will not abandon our commitment to Taiwan and that we are proud of our enduring friendship,” Pelosi said.

The Speaker of the US House of Representatives arrived in Taiwan on the evening of August 2, despite harsh warnings from China for many days before. Although the administration of President Joe Biden is said to have opposed the visit to Taiwan, White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said Pelosi has the right to go where she wants.

China’s military said its forces were on “high alert” and ready to launch “a series of targeted military actions” in response to the visit. China also announced plans for a series of military exercises in the waters around Taiwan from August 3.

Taiwan’s Defense Ministry said more than 21 Chinese military aircraft flew into the island’s air defense identification zone on August 2. China has also summoned the US ambassador to Beijing Nicholas Burns to criticize Ms. Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan. “This move is extremely wrong and the consequences are very serious. China will not sit idly by,” Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Ta Phong told Ambassador Burns.

Huyen Le (AFP, Reuters)

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