BEIJING | China on Friday suspended cooperation with the United States on global warming and other areas, an “irresponsible” decision according to Washington which urged Beijing to end military exercises launched around Taiwan to ease tensions.
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Beijing will “suspend China-US climate change talks” and cancel a military leaders’ talk as well as two security meetings, China’s foreign ministry said days after the top US lawmaker’s visit. Nancy Pelosi, in Taiwan.
He criticized the latter for having treated with “contempt” the opposition of China to his visit.
China and the United States, the world’s two largest emitters of greenhouse gases, struck a surprise climate deal at the COP26 summit in Glasgow last year.
They had pledged to work together to accelerate climate action over the next decade and to meet regularly to “address the climate crisis”.
The Foreign Ministry also said it was suspending cooperation with Washington on the repatriation of illegal migrants, as well as on justice, transnational crime and the fight against drugs.
The suspension of the dialogue on climate change is “fundamentally irresponsible”, reacted the spokesman of the American executive for national security affairs, John Kirby. “China is not just punishing the United States, it is punishing the whole world,” he added.
UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, for his part, expressed his dismay. For him, “it is impossible to solve the most pressing problems in the world without effective dialogue and cooperation between the two countries,” said his spokesman.
- Listen to Stefanie Tougas, Public and Government Affairs Director at Tact at the microphone of Yasmine Abdefadel on QUB radio:
“Calm the tone”
The United States has also called on China to end its military maneuvers since Nancy Pelosi’s controversial visit to Taiwan.
“The Chinese can do a lot to reduce tensions by ceasing their provocative military exercises and calming the tone,” said John Kirby.
Mobilizing warplanes and warships, China’s largest-ever military drill near Taiwan in response to Ms Pelosi’s trip this week continued on Friday for the second day in a row, with Taipei slamming its ‘malicious neighbour’ whose maneuvers literally surrounded him for three days.
The White House had earlier summoned the Chinese ambassador to Washington, condemning “China’s military operations which are irresponsible and contrary to our long-standing goal of maintaining peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait”, according to Mr Kirby.
The head of Chinese diplomacy Wang Yi replied by accusing the United States of having “a habit of creating a problem and then using this problem to achieve their ends”.
The military exercises are to continue until Sunday noon.
According to Taipei, as of 5 p.m. Friday, a total of 68 Chinese aircraft and 13 warships had crossed the “middle line” of the Taiwan Strait, which separates the island from the mainland, since the start of the day.
The day before, Beijing had already fired a dozen ballistic missiles and deployed its air force and navy in the six maritime zones chosen for the maneuvers all around Taiwan, approaching up to 20 km from the coast and disrupting trade routes among the busiest in the world.
State broadcaster CCTV claimed that Chinese missiles even flew over Taiwan for the first time. Taipei has not confirmed.
“We never expected our malevolent neighbor to flaunt his might at our doorstep, and arbitrarily endanger the world’s busiest waterways with his military exercises,” Taiwan’s premier told reporters. Su Tseng-chang.
In Pingtan, a Chinese island located not far from the maneuvers in progress, AFP journalists saw a fighter plane in the sky at midday on Friday.
Carrying umbrellas to protect themselves from the scorching sun, tourists tried to take pictures of the device while in the distance, in the Taiwan Strait, a Chinese military ship was seen.
Japan expressed a formal diplomatic protest against Beijing, believing that five of the Chinese missiles fell inside its exclusive economic zone (EEZ).
In Tokyo, the last leg of her eventful Asian tour, Ms Pelosi said the United States “will not allow” China to isolate Taiwan, assuring that her trip “was not intended to change the status quo. here in Asia, to change the status quo in Taiwan”.
The Chinese maneuvers encroach on some of the busiest shipping routes on the planet, through which essential electronic equipment from factories in East Asia is shipped to global markets.
Analysts agree that, despite these military exercises, Beijing does not want an armed confrontation for the time being.
“The last thing Xi wants is the outbreak of an accidental war,” Titus Chen, a professor at National Sun Yat-sen University in Taiwan, told AFP.