On Monday, China’s Defense Ministry defended its decision to stop military talks with the U.S. as a protest against House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s trip to Taipei last week. It also warned that the U.S. must face “serious consequences” for its actions.
China was angry about Pelosi’s visit last week. China sees the self-ruled island as its own, so it responded by testing ballistic missiles over Taipei for the first time and cutting off some lines of communication with Washington.
“The current tense situation in the Taiwan Strait was caused and sparked by the U.S. on its own,” Wu Qian, a spokesperson for China’s defense ministry, said in an online post. “The U.S. must take full responsibility and face serious consequences for this,” he added.
Wu said, “The bottom line can’t be broken, and communication needs to be honest.”
On Sunday, four days of drills that had never been done before were set to end. Chinese authorities have not officially confirmed they have ended, amid fears among some security analysts that the situation in the Taiwan Strait, particularly near the unofficial median line buffer, remains tense.
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Sunday, about 10 warships from both China and Taiwan moved close to the line, according to a person who is familiar with the situation and is involved in planning for security.
The defense ministry of the island said that Chinese military ships, planes, and drones had practiced attacks on the island and its navy. It said that it had sent planes and ships to respond “properly.”
As Pelosi left the area on Friday, China called off formal talks about theater-level commands, defense policy coordination, and military maritime consultations.
Officials from the Pentagon, State Department, and White House all said that the move was a reckless overreaction.
Security experts and diplomats say that China’s decision to cut off some of its few communication lines with the U.S. military raises the risk of an accidental escalation over Taiwan at a crucial time.
One U.S. official said that Chinese officials hadn’t answered calls from top Pentagon officials during last week’s tensions, but that they didn’t see this as a formal break with top people like U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin.
When asked directly about these reports, a spokesman for China’s defense ministry, Wu, said, “China’s relevant countermeasures are a necessary warning to the US and Taiwan’s provocations, and a legitimate defense of national sovereignty and security.”
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