Amid the heightened tensions between China and the US over US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan, China has decided to avoid meeting US Secretary of State Antony Blinken at the ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Cambodia.
“Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister, Wang Yi has no plans to meet with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken although both are attending the 55th ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting and related meetings in Phnom Penh this week,” Global Times quoted Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying as saying. The decision comes as a signal that reflects the severity of the visit, as well as China’s outrage toward US ‘provocations’.
Deputy Director of the Department for Asia-Pacific Studies at the China Institute of International Studies, Zhang Tengjun said, “There’s no need for Wang to meet and talk with Blinken anymore. We’ve said what we need to say, did what we should do… the US has received all information it needs, but Blinken insisted on making wrong comments.”
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Monday said that it is Pelosi’s decision whether she visits, adding, “we do not know what Speaker Pelosi intends to do.”
“And if the speaker does decide to visit and China tries to create some kind of crisis or otherwise escalate tensions, that would be entirely on Beijing,” adding, “We are looking for them, in the event, she decides to visit, to act responsibly and not to engage in any escalation going forward.”
Responding to Blinken’s remarks on Tuesday, the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson said that the world sees clearly that it is the US who started the provocation first and caused tension, thus the US should take full responsibility for the situation, Global Times reported.
Zhang Tengjun underscored that, what the US Secretary of State said, showed he has no sincerity, no desire to listen to China, and that it has totally ruined the atmosphere for a possible meeting between Blinken and Wang.
The US House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi, who is second in line to the Oval Office after the US vice-president, arrived in Taiwan on Tuesday on the highest level US visit in more than two decades.
Pelosi arrived in Taipei as part of a Congressional delegation’s tour of the Indo-Pacific region in the face of the China threat.
Minutes after her aircraft landed in Taipei, the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) announced that it would hold six live-fire military drills in waters around Taiwan, scheduled to take place from Thursday to Sunday.
Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense (MND) confirmed that on Tuesday late evening, 21 Chinese military aircraft flew into the southwestern part of Taiwan’s air defence identification zone (ADIZ).
Beijing said that Pelosi’s visit gravely undermines peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait and sends a seriously wrong signal to the “separatist forces for Taiwan independence” and if the US insists on pursuing the wrong path, it will assume full responsibility for all serious consequences arising thereof.
In a recent update, China’s Vice Foreign Minister Xie Feng summoned US Ambassador to China Nicholas Burns to protest against Pelosi’s visit stressing that the nature of her visit is extremely vicious and the consequence is very grave.
Xie said the Chinese side will not sit idly by. The US must pay the price for its own mistake. China will take necessary and resolute countermeasures and “we mean what we say”.
He maintained that the US government should have restrained Pelosi’s unscrupulous move and prevented her from going against the historical trend but instead indulged her and colluded with her, which exacerbates the tension in the Taiwan Straits and seriously damages China-US ties.
The Chinese officials and experts warned that all the consequences of this highly dangerous and provocative move will be borne by Washington, and such a visit will also forever change the cross-Straits situation and deliver a destructive impact on the already-difficult China-US relations.