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China ends cooperation with US over Taiwan dispute

#China #ends #cooperation #Taiwan #dispute

China on Friday said it was ending cooperation with the United States on a litany of key issues including climate change, anti-drug efforts and military talks as relations between the two superpowers slide over the island of Taiwan.

Beijing has reacted furiously to a visit to the island by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who has claimed it as its territory and vowed to retake it by force if necessary.

Since Thursday, it has been circling the self-governing, democratic island with a series of huge military exercises that have been roundly condemned by the United States and other Western allies.

And on Friday, the State Department continued to hit back at the United States, suspending talks and cooperation on several deals between the two — including on combating climate change.

The world’s two biggest polluters pledged last year to work together to accelerate climate action this decade, promising to meet regularly to “tackle the climate crisis”.

But that deal looks shaky as ties plummet to one of their lowest levels in years, as do agreements on everything from talks on military affairs to anti-narcotics cooperation.

Pelosi – who was also sanctioned by Beijing for the visit – has defended her trip to Taiwan, saying on Friday Washington will “not allow” China to isolate the island.

Taiwan has also condemned Beijing’s furious response to the visit, with Premier Su Tseng-chang urging allies to push for de-escalation.

“[We]didn’t expect that the evil next door neighbor would show his power on our doorstep and indiscriminately endanger the world’s busiest waterways with his military drills,” he told reporters.

– ‘Our fatherland is powerful’ –

Beijing has announced its military drills will continue until Sunday noon, and Taipei reported that Chinese warplanes and ships crossed the “center line” leading down the Taiwan Strait on Friday morning.

“As of 11 a.m., several groups of Chinese warplanes and warships were conducting drills around the Taiwan Strait and crossing the center line of the strait,” the Taipei Defense Ministry said in a statement.

AFP journalists on the Chinese island of Pingtan saw a fighter jet fly overhead, prompting tourists to take photos as it flew along the coast.

A Chinese military ship was also visible sailing through the Taiwan Straits, they added.

China’s drills included a “conventional missile strike” in waters east of Taiwan, the Chinese military said.

And state broadcaster CCTV reported that Chinese missiles had flown directly over Taiwan – a major escalation if officially confirmed.

On the Chinese island of Pingtan, local tourists proudly touted their country’s military prowess against its much smaller neighbor.

“Our motherland is powerful. We are not afraid of war with Taiwan, the US or any other country in the world,” Liu, a 40-year-old tourist from Zhejiang province, told AFP.

“We hope to unite Taiwan soon. We’re not afraid of anyone,” he added.

“Our country is powerful. We don’t want to start a war, but we are not afraid of others.”

– “Significant escalation” –

China’s ruling Communist Party considers Taiwan part of its territory and has vowed to one day take it, by force if necessary.

But the scale and intensity of the drills have sparked outrage in the United States and other democracies.

“These provocative actions are a clear escalation,” Blinken said after talks with Southeast Asian foreign ministers in Phnom Penh.

“The fact is that the Speaker’s visit was peaceful. There is no justification for this extreme, disproportionate and escalating military response,” he added.

Japan filed a formal diplomatic complaint against Beijing, saying five of China’s missiles are believed to have landed in its exclusive economic zone.

And Australia – which has a difficult relationship with China, its largest trading partner – condemned the drills as “disproportionate and destabilizing”.

The maneuvers are taking place along some of the world’s busiest shipping routes, which serve to spread the world’s supply of vital semiconductors and electronic devices made in East Asia.

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#China #ends #cooperation #Taiwan #dispute

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