China sanctions US speaker Nancy Pelosi over 'vicious and provocative' Taiwan visit

China also said it is halting cooperation with the US in a number of areas, including dialogue between senior-level military commanders and climate talks

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China has sanctioned Nancy Pelosi and her immediate family in response to her "vicious" and "provocative" actions, the Chinese foreign ministry said.

The US House of Representatives speaker visited Taiwan this week, despite China urging her against making the visit.

China launched its largest ever military drills in the seas and skies around Taiwan on Thursday, a day after Pelosi enraged Beijing by making a solidarity trip to the island, the highest-level U.S. visitor to Taiwan in 25 years.

The live-fire drills are scheduled to continue until noon on Sunday.

Nancy Pelosi has been sanctioned by China over her Taiwan visit
Nancy Pelosi has been sanctioned by China over her Taiwan visit
Ms Pelosi visited Taiwan earlier this week
Ms Pelosi visited Taiwan earlier this week

In a statement on Friday, a Chinese foreign ministry spokesman said: "Despite China's serious concerns and firm opposition, Pelosi insisted on visiting Taiwan, seriously interfering in China's internal affairs, undermining China's sovereignty and territorial integrity, trampling on the one-China policy, and threatening the peace and stability of the Taiwan Strait.”

While China also said it is halting cooperation with the US in a number of areas, including dialogue between senior-level military commanders and climate talks, in retaliation to Ms Pelosi’s Taiwan visit.

China's foreign ministry added that it was suspending cooperation with Washington on prevention of cross-border crime and drug trafficking, and on repatriating illegal migrants, among eight specific measures.

In a statement released soon after Ms Pelosi left Japan on the final leg of her Asian tour, China also cancelled a planned bilateral meeting on a maritime military security mechanism.

While US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Washington has made it repeatedly clear to Beijing it does not seek a crisis.

"There is no justification for this extreme, disproportionate and escalatory military response," Mr Blinken said, speaking at a news conference during the sidelines of the ASEAN Regional Forum in Cambodia.

He added: "now, they've taken dangerous acts to a new level."