U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi concluded on Wednesday a whirlwind visit to Taiwan that was warmly welcomed by the Taiwanese government and seen by Beijing as a “major political provocation” and a challenge to China’s sovereignty.
China said punishment for the United States and Taiwan would follow. Here’s what Beijing has done so far.
On the diplomatic front: Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi condemned Pelosi’s visit as a violation of the “one China” policy, according to Chinese state media CGTN. He told reporters on the sideline of an ASEAN meeting in Cambodia that “those who offend China will be punished.” Yet when asked Wednesday in a daily briefing about what punishment was planned, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying responded by asking “for some additional patience and confidence.”
On Tuesday night as Pelosi landed in Taipei, Chinese Deputy Foreign Minister Xie Feng called in Nicholas Burns, the American ambassador in Beijing, to protest the visit. China’s state Xinhua News Agency quoted Xie as saying that “the United States says one thing, does another,” and “uses any means to play the ‘Taiwan card.’ ”
On the military front: China’s People’s Liberation Army said it would be conducting live-fire drills Thursday through Sunday on six swaths of sea surrounding Taiwan, according to CGTN. Hua Chunying, the Foreign Ministry spokesperson, said on Wednesday this was to “dialogue with the U.S. and the Taiwan separatist forces in a language they can understand.”
The large-scale drill could mark a new stage of brinkmanship. A spokesman for Taiwan’s defense ministry, Major General Sun Li-fang, said Wednesday that Taiwan would resolutely safeguard national sovereignty and national security but would not irrationally escalate conflicts. “We prepare for war, but we do not seek it,” he said.
On the economic front: China has unleashed a slew of retaliatory restrictions aimed at Taiwan.
On Wednesday, the Chinese Ministry of Commerce announced it had suspended natural sand exports to Taiwan, without specifying why. China’s Xinhua News Agency quoted a ministry spokesperson as saying the suspension was “in accordance with relevant laws and regulations.”
China’s Taiwan Affairs Office said Wednesday that it would suspend imports of grapefruit, lemons, oranges and other citrus fruits from Taiwan. China’s General Administration of Customs said the products had been found to contain pests and excessive pesticides residue on multiple occasions.