House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi (D)
By Biodun Busari
Chinese Foreign Ministry has announced Friday to sanction US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her immediate family members for ignoring China’s serious concern and firm opposition and insisted on visiting China’s Taiwan region.
Global Times reports that the decision seriously interferes in China’s internal affairs, undermines China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, tramples on the one-China principle and threatens peace and stability in Taiwan Straits, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson said.
Earlier on Wednesday, Chinese Foreign Minister, Wang Yi vowed that Beijing will punish Taiwan as Pelosi visited the island Asian country.
Pelosi met with Taiwan’s President, Tsai Ing-wen on Wednesday during the official visit to the island that had invited China fury.
The American lawmaker also called at the Taiwan parliament during the trip, which made her the highest-ranking US official to visit the nation in 25 years.
China regarded the self-governing island as a breakaway territory that would one day be reunited with the mainland and warned the US against allowing Pelosi to visit.
“This is a complete farce. The United States is violating China’s sovereignty under the guise of so-called ‘democracy’… those who offend China will be punished,” Wang said on the sidelines of a meeting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in Phnom Penh.
But in reaction to the threat, Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen countered that the island of 23 million would not be intimidated.
“Facing deliberately heightened military threats, Taiwan will not back down. We will… continue to hold the line of defence for democracy,” Tsai said at an event with Pelosi in Taipei.
She also thanked the 82-year-old US lawmaker for “taking concrete actions to show your staunch support for Taiwan at this critical moment”.
China tries to keep Taiwan isolated on the world stage and opposes countries having official exchanges with Taipei.
Pelosi, second in line to the presidency, is the highest-profile elected US official to visit Taiwan in 25 years.
“Today, our delegation… came to Taiwan to make unequivocally clear we will not abandon our commitment to Taiwan,” Pelosi said at the event with Tsai.