A brake on Sino-American cooperation

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.

Beijing will “suspend China-US climate change talks” and cancel a talk between military leaders as well as two meetings on security, the Chinese foreign ministry said a few days after the president’s visit to Taiwan. United States House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi. He criticized the latter for having treated with “contempt” China’s opposition to his visit.

China and the United States, the world’s two biggest emitters of greenhouse gases, struck a surprise climate deal at the COP26 summit in Glasgow last year. They pledged to work together to accelerate climate action over the next decade and to meet regularly to “address the climate crisis”.

The Chinese 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 spokesperson.

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 planes and warships, the largest military exercises ever organized by China near Taiwan, in reaction to the trip of Mme Pelosi this week continued Friday for the second day in a row, with Taipei lambasting the maneuvers that literally surrounded him for three days.

The White House had previously 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.

Median line

According to Taipei, as of 5 p.m. Friday (5 a.m. Montreal time), a total of 68 Chinese planes and 13 warships had crossed the “median line” of the Taiwan Strait, which separates the island, since the beginning of the day. from the continent.

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. “We never expected our malevolent neighbor to flaunt his power at our doorstep, and arbitrarily endanger the world’s busiest waterways with his military exercises,” Taiwan’s premier told reporters. Su Tseng-chang.

State broadcaster CCTV claimed that Chinese missiles even flew over Taiwan for the first time; Taipei did not confirm the information.

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.

We never expected our malevolent neighbor to flaunt his might on our doorstep, and arbitrarily endanger the world’s busiest waterways with his military exercises.

Japan expressed a formal diplomatic protest against Beijing, believing that five of the Chinese missiles fell inside its exclusive economic zone.

In Tokyo, the last leg of her eventful Asian tour, Mme Pelosi asserted that the United States “would not allow” China to isolate Taiwan, assuring that his move “was not intended to change the status quo here in Asia, to change the status quo in Taiwan”.

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.

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