China will “suspend the China-US climate change talks” and nix plans for a call between military leaders, Chinese foreign ministry said.
China said Friday it was ending cooperation with the United States on a litany of key issues including climate change, anti-drug efforts and military talks, as relations between the two superpowers nosedive over Taiwan.
Beijing has reacted furiously to a visit by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to Taiwan, which it claims as its territory and has vowed to retake — by force if necessary.
It has since Thursday encircled the self-ruled, democratic island with a series of huge military drills that have been roundly condemned by the United States and other Western allies.
And Friday saw its foreign ministry hit back further against the United States, suspending talks and cooperation on multiple agreements between the two — including on climate change.
The world’s two largest polluters last year pledged to work together to accelerate climate action this decade, and vowed to meet regularly to “address the climate crisis”.
But that deal now looks shaky in light of China’s latest move.
Raising the alarm, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned the two superpowers must continue to work together — for the world’s sake.
“For the secretary-general there is no way to solve the most pressing problems of all the world without an effective dialogue and cooperation between the two countries,” Guterres’ spokesman Stephane Dujarric told reporters.
In Washington, the White House summoned China’s ambassador to condemn Beijing’s “irresponsible” behaviour over Taiwan, a senior US official said Friday.
Taiwan has also condemned Beijing’s response to the visit, with premier Su Tseng-chang calling for allies to push for de-escalation.
“(We) didn’t expect that the evil neighbour next door would show off its power at our door and arbitrarily jeopardise the busiest waterways in the world with its military exercises,” he told reporters.
Pelosi — who Beijing also hit with sanctions — has defended her trip to Taiwan, saying Friday that Washington would “not allow” China to isolate the island.
– ‘Our motherland is powerful’ –
Beijing has said its military exercises will continue until midday Sunday, and Taipei reported that 68 Chinese planes and 13 warships crossed the “median line” that runs down the Taiwan Strait on Friday.
AFP journalists on the Chinese island of Pingtan saw a fighter jet flying overhead, prompting tourists to snap photos.
A Chinese military vessel sailing through the Taiwan Strait was also visible, they added.
China’s drills involved a “conventional missile firepower assault” in waters east of Taiwan, the Chinese military said.
And state broadcaster CCTV reported that Chinese missiles flew directly over Taiwan — a major escalation if confirmed
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