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Friday, August 5, 2022

China summons U.S. ambassador over Pelosi's visit to Taiwan

CHINESE VICE Foreign Minister Xie Feng urgently summoned the U.S. Ambassador to China Nicholas Burns and lodged stern representations and strong protests over Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi's visit to Taiwan.

Noting that Pelosi risks universal condemnation to deliberately provoke and play with fire, Xie said that this is a serious violation of the one-China principle and the three China-U.S. joint communiques. 

It has a severe impact on the political foundation of China-U.S. relations, and seriously infringes on China's sovereignty and territorial integrity, Xie said, adding that it gravely undermines peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait, and sends a seriously wrong signal to the separatist forces for "Taiwan independence." 

"The move is extremely egregious in nature and the consequences are extremely serious. China will not sit idly by," Xie said, adding the Washington must be held accountable. 

For a while, the U.S. has said one thing and done another thing, constantly distorted and hollowed out the one-China principle. 

It deleted the key expressions such as Taiwan is part of China from the U.S. State Department website, put Taiwan in its so-called "Indo-Pacific strategy", openly upgraded its ties with Taiwan and increased arms sales to the region and supported separatist activities for "Taiwan independence," according to Xie. 

He said the U.S. government has indulged rather than restrained Pelosi's wilful act, leading to the escalation of tensions across the Taiwan Strait and seriously undermined the China-U.S. relations. 

Noting that the U.S. side shall pay the price for its own mistakes, Xie urged the U.S. to immediately address its wrongdoings, take practical measures to undo the adverse effects caused by Pelosi's visit to Taiwan. 

The American government must not go further down the wrong path, escalating tensions and making the situation across the Taiwan Strait and China-U.S. relations irreparable, Xie said. 

He added that the United States should stop playing the "Taiwan card", stop using Taiwan to contain China in any form, and stop interfering in China's internal affairs. 

Washington must take concrete actions to observe the one-China principle and the provisions of the three China-U.S. joint communiques, deliver on the "five noes" commitment made by the U.S. leadership (i.e. not seek a "new Cold War"; not seek to change China's system; the revitalization of its alliances is not against China; not support "Taiwan independence"; not look for conflict with China), and not go further down the wrong and dangerous path, Xie noted. 

Xie stressed that the trend of the times cannot be reversed, the will of the people is not to be defied, and those who play with fire will perish by it. "Taiwan is China's Taiwan, and Taiwan will eventually return to the embrace of the motherland. Chinese people are not afraid of ghosts, pressure and the evil," he said. 

In the minds of the Chinese people, nothing is more sacred than to protect China's sovereignty and territorial integrity, and nothing is more important than safeguarding and realizing national reunification, Xie stressed. 

He added that no country, no force and no individual should ever underestimate the firm resolve, strong will and great capability of the Chinese government and people to defend national sovereignty and territorial integrity and to achieve national reunification and rejuvenation. 

Pelosi called Taiwan one of the freest societies in the world and praised the island's performance in handling the Covid-19 pandemic during her visit to Taiwan's legislature on August 3. She met with Deputy Legislative Speaker Tsai Chi-chang and addressed the importance of parliamentary cooperation between the U.S. and Taiwan. 

"We commend Taiwan for being one of the freest societies in the world," Pelosi said. "We thank you for your leadership. We want the world to recognize that." 

Pelosi called for more parliamentary cooperation between the U.S. and Taiwan, saying the delegation she led to Taiwan was comprised of lawmakers who were very capable and able to think about economic and security issues strategically which they could share with their Taiwanese counterparts.

The American delegation led by Pelosi includes Democratic lawmakers Gregory Meeks, Mark Takano, Suzan DelBene, Raja Krishnamoorthi, and Andy Kim. Pelosi is the first sitting U.S. House speaker to visit Taiwan since 1997, when Newt Gingrich traveled to Taipei and met with then-President Lee Teng-hui.

The House speaker embarked on an Asian tour on July 24, and she arrived in Taipei at 10:44 p.m. on August 2 from Malaysia, with no prior public announcement.

Pelosi, who said in an op-ed published by the Washington Post on August 2 that her visit showed the U.S. commitment to democracy, noted during her meeting with Tsai that everything the U.S. Congress had done to support Taiwan was undertaken in a "bipartisan way."

When Tsai called her a "good friend of Taiwan," Pelosi said she would take it as a "great compliment," receiving it on behalf of her congressional colleagues. Pelosi reportedly had planned to visit Taiwan in early April as part of a wider tour of Asia, but had to postpone the trip after she tested positive for Covid-19.

While Pelosi has described her visit to Taiwan as that of a U.S. congressional delegation to the country, which did not contradict Washington's one-China policy, Beijing announced its plans to hold six live-fire military drills in waters around Taiwan which Taiwan's military said could pose a threat to the country's major ports and metropolitan areas. (Xinhua and CNA by Wang Yang-yu, Fan Cheng-hsiang and Frances Huang. With additional reporting from The Mindanao Examiner.)