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China Has Sanctioned Nancy Pelosi After Her Taiwan Visit

China Has Sanctioned Nancy Pelosi After Her Taiwan Visit

The US politician and Speaker of the House made the trip last week, ignoring warnings from Beijing as she did so

The Chinese government have announced sanctions against US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who made a historic trip to the disputed island of Taiwan earlier this week.

The as-yet-undisclosed sanctions against the US politician and her immediate family are expected to include some form of ban on entering China, Hong Kong or Macau, in what will largely be a series of symbolic measures.

Her 2 August trip to Taiwan initiated a defiant response from China's military, which responded by launching a series of unprecedented drills and naval exercises around the island, including the firing of missiles into the surrounding sea.

The significance of a prominent US leader visiting Taiwan can be traced back to 1979, when the American government formally recognised Beijing's ruling Communist Party, and severed tied with Taiwan altogether.

China claims the island - which is around 180km from the mainland - as one of its territories, citing historical and cultural ties that stretch back hundreds of years.

Nancy Pelosi has stressed the United States supports Taiwan.
REUTERS / Alamy Stock Photo

Their claim is part of the 'One China' policy, whereby disputed territories like Taiwan and Hong Kong are technically under Chinese dominion, but still maintain a degree of autonomy.

However, Beijing seemingly views Pelosi's visit as another step towards 'hollowing out' the 1979 agreement, which has been observed by every US President since then.

Deng Li, China's Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs, stated last week that Pelosi's trip was a 'blatant political manipulation and a blatant and serious violation of China's sovereignty and territorial integrity'.

"China's counterattack is only natural," he added.

In response to such accusations, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken suggested that China had chosen to 'overreact' to her visit, and instead used the diplomatic mission as a pretext to launch their provocative military drills in the waters surrounding Taiwan.

While no sitting US Speaker of the House had visited Taiwan prior to Pelosi this month, there is precedent for ex-senior US officials going to the island.

Last year, former US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was sanctioned by Beijing for visiting Taiwan, even though his trip was in an unofficial capacity.

Nancy Pelosi met Taiwan president Tsai Ing-wen and vice president Lai Ching-te.
ROC President Office / Alamy Stock Photo

Pelosi's actions have triggered a domino effect, as tensions between China and Taiwan reach an apex.

China's subsequent military exercises have already also incurred condemnation from Japan, as five of the missiles launched since operations began have landed in Japan's Exclusive Economic Zone off Hateruma, according to the country's Defence Minister Nobuo Kishi.

On Friday, he said the missile landings are 'serious threats to Japan's national security and the safety of the Japanese people'.

Over 16 million people were tracking Nancy Pelosi's flight into Taiwan.
CTK / Alamy Stock Photo

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida echoed this sentiment, arguing that China's military manoeuvres represented a 'grave problem' for the entire region - one which threatens peace and security.

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Featured Image Credit: CREDIT: Xinhua / SOPA Images Limited / Alamy

Topics: China, US News, World News, Politics, Nancy Pelosi, Joe Biden