CNN) — Chinese officials announced sanctions against US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi after she visited Taiwan, which China considers part of its territory.
“U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi insists on going to Taiwan, seriously interfering in China’s internal affairs and seriously undermining China’s sovereignty and integrity, regardless of China’s serious concerns and strong opposition. and stability across the Taiwan Strait,” a Chinese Foreign Ministry statement said Friday.
“In response to Pelosi’s perverse and provocative actions, China has decided to impose economic sanctions on Pelosi and her immediate family,” the statement said.
The report did not elaborate on those restrictions.
Chinese warships and aircraft conducted military exercises in the sea near Taiwan on Friday as tensions in the region escalated following US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to the island this week, the island’s Defense Ministry said.
Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) forces crossed the midway between the island and mainland China, saying it was a “very provocative act”.
The line was formerly an informal but widely respected border control between Beijing and Taipei.
Taiwan’s military responded with a radio alert and put air patrols, naval vessels and land-based missile systems on alert, the ministry added.
On Friday, Taiwan’s Prime Minister Su Cheng-tsang said the island was “free and democratic” and added that the “evil neighbor has flexed his muscles at our doorstep and ravaged the world with arbitrary military exercises”. .
The skies and waters around Taiwan have become a focal point as Beijing escalates tensions not only with Taiwan but also with neighboring Japan, which formally protested to China after five missiles landed in Japan’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ).
Among several missiles launched by Beijing on Thursday, some of which flew over Taiwan, Pelosi visited Tokyo on Friday to meet with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida.
China has previously fired missiles into the waters around Taiwan, a democratic island with a population of 24 million, although the Chinese Communist Party has never controlled it, most notably during the Taiwan Strait crisis in the 1990s.
But the missiles that flew over the island represented a significant escalation, and U.S. officials warned that more could be coming.