TAIWAN TENSIONS – China sanctions Pelosi, severs ties with US in response to Taiwan trip

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China has stepped up its response to Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan with a range of measures including the suspension of cooperation mechanisms with Washington, sanctions against the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives and sending war ships and aircraft across the Taiwan Strait.

Two days after the veteran politician’s controversial trip, Beijing announced eight measures including the suspension of cooperation in areas such as judicial affairs, climate change, the repatriation of irregular migrants, criminal legal assistance, combating transnational crimes and talks on combating climate change.

Beijing made the decision public barely an hour after imposing sanctions on Pelosi and her immediate family members for “disregarding China’s concern and strong opposition” to her trip and for “undermining (its) sovereignty and territorial integrity”.

Taiwan said Friday that up to 68 Chinese aircraft and 13 ships remained in the Taiwan Strait and that some of them had crossed the unofficial dividing line on the second day of military maneuvers initiated by Beijing on Thursday in response to Pelosi’s visit.

Taiwan’s president Tsai Ing-wen called China’s live-fire military drills and missile launches around the island as “irrational” and an “irresponsible” act that are fueling tensions in the Indo-Pacific and demanded it “act with reason” and restraint.