The sanctions against Pelosi and her immediate family were announced by Beijing even as China ramped up saber-rattling exercises including military drills and fighter jet flyovers meant to send a message of intimidation to Taiwan. China’s Foreign Ministry blasted Pelosi’s “vicious and provocative actions” in visiting the island that China considers its sovereign territory.
“Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi insisted on visiting China’s Taiwan region. This constitutes a gross interference in China’s internal affairs. It gravely undermines China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, seriously tramples on the one-China principle, and severely threatens peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait,” a statement from China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Friday.
In addition to sanctions against Pelosi, Beijing announced the suspension of climate talks, canceled future phone calls and meetings between Chinese and U.S. defense officials, suspended cooperation on the repatriation of illegal immigrants, and suspended its anti-drug cooperation with the U.S.
The U.S. blames China for allowing synthetic opioids, including fentanyl, to flow into the U.S., where they kill thousands of Americans every year.
Pelosi visited Taiwan on Wednesday and met President Tsai Ing-wen and other leaders. China’s Communist Party, which views the self-governed democratic island as its territory, considered the visit a huge affront, and even the Biden administration, which made a point of saying it does not consider Taiwan independent, expressed frustration.
The Chinese Communist Party has repeatedly warned against the visit, and during a phone call last week, Chinese President Xi Jinping told Biden that the United States must not “play with fire.”
Pelosi, speaking a day later in Tokyo, said the U.S. will not allow China to isolate Taiwan from the international community.
“We will not allow [China] to isolate Taiwan,” the California Democrat said Friday. “They are not doing our travel schedule.”