(CNN) — The White House summoned China’s ambassador to the United States, Qin Gang, on Thursday to condemn Beijing’s “irresponsible” military activities near Taiwan, as tensions continue to rise in the region following a visit by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. of Representatives, to the island this week.
“Following China’s actions overnight, we summon PRC Ambassador Qin Gang to the White House over the PRC’s provocative actions. We condemn the PRC’s military actions, which are irresponsible.” contrary to our long-standing goal of maintaining peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait,” John Kirby, strategic communications coordinator for the National Security Council, said in a statement to CNN.
The decision to summon Qin comes after several days of repeated warnings to China not to increase tensions in the region, after Pelosi’s visit to the autonomous island. Precisely, the Communist Party of China considers Taiwan as part of its territory even though it has never controlled it. And the move also represents a change in attitude in the White House about the trip, since before it happened several officials tried to warn Pelosi in private about the possible consequences of the visit and how it could damage relations between the United States and China. The meeting with the ambassador was initially reported The Washington Post.
China takes action
During the days after Pelosi’s trip to Taiwan, China has taken multiple military measures, both diplomatically and militarily.
On the diplomatic front, Beijing has sanctioned Pelosi and her immediate family. In addition, he announced this Friday that he would suspend cooperation with Washington on several issues, including the fight against the climate crisis.
Taiwan’s Defense Ministry said Chinese warships and aircraft conducted exercises in waters around the island and Chinese forces crossed the median line, the midpoint between the island and mainland China. A movement that the authorities described as a “highly provocative act”.
Two Chinese drones also flew near Japan on Thursday, prompting the country’s Air Self-Defense Force to send fighter jets in response, according to a Tokyo Defense Ministry statement.
The US tells the ambassador that it does not want a crisis
According to Kirby, the White House told Qin that the US does not want a crisis in the region and reiterated that there has been no change in the country’s “One China” policy. She also said that Washington recognizes the People’s Republic of China as the only legitimate government.
“We also made it clear that the United States is prepared for whatever Beijing decides to do. We will not seek or want a crisis. At the same time, we will not be deterred from operating in the seas and skies of the Western Pacific, in accordance with international law, as we have done for decades, supporting Taiwan and standing up for a free and open Indo-Pacific,” Kirby said in the statement.
National Security Council coordinator for Indo-Pacific affairs Kurt Campbell met with Qin, according to a source familiar with the matter.
Kirby said Thursday that China is exaggerating and using Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan “as a pretext to increase provocative military activity in and around the Taiwan Strait.” He added that the White House expects more provocative action “in the coming days.” “.
“They say it’s a protest,” Kirby said. “I get it. But it’s also a pretext to try to up the ante on tensions and try to establish a new status quo to get to a new normal where they think they can keep things going.