STORY: Furious over U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's visit to Taiwan, China announced on Friday, it was halting dialog with the United States on a number of issues – like the military, climate change and drug trafficking.
White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre called the move ‘irresponsible’:
"You know, China's actions right now, it's fundamentally irresponsible. There is no need and there's no reason for this escalation.”
It comes after China started live-fire military drills in the seas and skies around Taiwan – the self-governed island that Beijing regards as its territory.
The live-fire drills, the largest ever conducted by China in the Taiwan Strait, are scheduled to continue until Sunday (August 7).
On the sidelines of ASEAN regional meetings in Cambodia, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken reiterated that the U.S. does not seek a crisis over Pelosi’s travels:
"The fact is the (House of Representatives) Speaker's (Nancy Pelosi) visit was peaceful. There is no justification for this extreme, disproportionate and escalatory military response.”
On Friday, Taiwan's defense ministry said it scrambled jets to warn away Chinese aircraft that it said entered the island's air defense zone.
Blinken said the U.S. would continue to support regional allies and conduct standard air and maritime transit through the Taiwan Strait.
Beijing also announced it would impose sanctions on Pelosi and her immediate family in response to her (quote) "vicious" and "provocative" actions after she became the highest-level U.S. visitor in 25 years to the self-governed island.