Beijing halts high-level military dialogue with US, suspends other cooperation

BEIJING: Beijing announced on Friday (Aug 5) that it was halting cooperation with the United States in a number of areas, including dialogue between senior-level military commanders, in retaliation for the visit this week to Taiwan by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

China’s foreign ministry also said in a statement that it was halting climate talks with the United States, as well as cooperation on cross-border crime prevention and on repatriating illegal migrants, among eight specific measures.

On Friday, China decided to sanction US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her immediate family in response to her “vicious” and “provocative” actions.

This is the latest in a series of responses to Pelosi’s decision to visit Taiwan, the highest-level visit by a US official in 25 years, despite China’s repeated warnings.

During her visit, Pelosi lauded Taiwan’s democracy, economic success and its human rights record. She also met with President Tsai Ing-wen and held a joint news conference.

In response, China fired ballistic missiles and deployed fighter jets and warships on Thursday, launching its largest military exercises around Taiwan. It straddled some of the busiest shipping lanes in the world, at some points just 20km from Taiwan’s shore.