China sanctions US Speaker Nancy Pelosi over ‘egregious’ Taiwan trip

China on Friday sanctioned U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her close family in response to her Taiwan trip earlier this week.

Top US Democrat’s visit to the self-governing island prompts backlash from Beijing.

In a statement, the Chinese foreign ministry said that Pelosi’s trip to the self-governing island was “a gross interference in China’s internal affairs” and that “in response to Pelosi’s egregious provocation, China decides to adopt sanctions on Pelosi and her immediate family members in accordance with relevant laws of the People’s Republic of China.”

Pelosi’s trip to Taiwan prompted a backlash from Beijing, with China accusing her visit of being in breach of the “One China” policy governing the island’s status.

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China launched military drills in waters near Taiwan, which G7 foreign ministers condemned on Wednesday as “threatening” by Beijing, adding that “there is no justification to use a visit as pretext for aggressive military activity in the Taiwan Strait.”

The “One China” policy is the diplomatic acknowledgement of China’s position that there is only one Chinese government. In this framework, the U.S. acknowledges, but doesn’t endorse, Beijing’s claims that Taiwan is part of China.

According to a report, China imposed sanctions on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in response her visit to Taiwan earlier this week, a move which infuriated Beijing.

Pelosi visited Taipei, the capital of Taiwan, from Tuesday to Wednesday.

It came despite weeks of attempts by China to prevent the visit, which covered threats of military and economic consequences.

Upon her arrival, China flew several warplanes, including fighter jets, across Taiwan’s air defense identification zone, announced military drills around Taiwan, and imposed import bans on thousands of Taiwanese goods.

China sees Taiwan as part of its territory, and has for decades pressured governments not to recognize Taiwan as a sovereign nation. Some military experts believe that China may eventually invade the island.

The Chinese foreign ministry said Pelosi’s visit “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.”

It did not say what the sanctions were, but said they also included her “immediate family members.” Previous Chinese sanctions against Western lawmakers have included banning their travel to China and freezing any assets they might have there.

Hua Chunying, a spokeswoman for China’s foreign ministry, told reporters on Friday that the US should have stopped Pelosi from visiting Taiwan, state media reported.

Representatives for Pelosi and the White House did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.

According to The Washington Post, the White House summoned China’s ambassador to the US on Thursday to object to China’s military activities around Taiwan, which on Thursday included firing several ballistic missiles into the water. Summoning an ambassador is a diplomatic move by a host country to signal its anger.

During that meeting, the White House also said it did not want to cause a regional crisis.

“We will not seek and do not want a crisis. At the same time, we will not be deterred from operating in the seas and skies of the Western Pacific, consistent with international law, as we have for decades — supporting Taiwan and defending a free and open Indo-Pacific,” White House spokesman John Kirby told The Post.

China has sanctioned top Western politicians before. In 2020, it announced unspecified sanctions against politicians including Sens. Ted Cruz and Marcio Rubio in response to US measures against aimed at those accused of violating humans rights and political freedoms in Xinjiang and Hong Kong.

Similarly, China last year sanctioned British MPs like Tom Tugendhat and Iain Duncan Smith, former leader of the Conservative Party, after they called for sanctions against China for its repression of the Uyghur people in Xinjiang.

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