PRETORIA, South Africa – The Chinese embassy in South Africa has rubbished assertions by visiting United States’ Secretary of State Antony Blinken, regarding the recent visit by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to Taiwan, which has sparked a diplomatic row.
In an interview with eNCA, Blinken said the Chinese government “overreacted” to Pelosi’s visit to the island.
Blinken said: “The real issue is the extraordinary reaction or overreaction by China at the peaceful visit by a member of our legislative branch [Pelosi]. Many members of our Congress visit Taiwan. And then a military response, from China, sending ballistic missiles and five of them landed in the seas near Japan …”
Responding to Blinken’s remarks, the Chinese embassy issued a statement, emphasizing that Pelosi’s controversial tour of Taiwan was against the one-China principle.
“Pelosi is the Speaker of the US House of Representatives and the second in line to the US presidency. Her visit to and activities in Taiwan, in whatever form and for whatever reason, is a serious violation of the US government’s commitment to the one-China policy and a major political provocation to upgrade US official exchanges and substantive relations with Taiwan,” the Chinese embassy said.
“She was flown in a military aircraft and escorted by US Navy ships for what she acknowledged herself as an official visit. The so-called “unofficial visit” and “peaceful visit” argued by the US side is self-deceptive and preposterous.”
The Chinese diplomatic mission in South Africa insists Pelosi’s “illegitimate visit to Taiwan has grossly infringed on China’s sovereignty, interfered in China’s internal affairs, violated the commitments made by the US side, and jeopardized peace and stability across the Taiwan Straits”.
The embassy said Beijing was acting in self-defence.
“China has made it clear many times that we are firmly opposed to Pelosi’s visit. We had warned the US side that if it continued to go down the wrong path, it would have to bear all the consequences arising therefrom. The US made a malicious provocation first, and China has been compelled to act in self-defence,” the embassy added.
“The false accusation of “overreaction of the Chinese side” is nothing but a despicable way of distorting facts and shifting blame. All the counter-measures taken by the Chinese Government are justified, necessary and appropriate.”
The Chinese government said the series of “military counter-measures” carried out in waters near the island of Taiwan were necessary “and legitimate to deter the ‘Taiwan independence’ separatist forces, and to safeguard China’s national sovereignty and territorial integrity”.
“Relevant Chinese authorities have issued safety alerts and navigation warnings in advance, which are in line with domestic law, international law and international practice. Meanwhile, China has announced a series of counter-measures against the United States, including sanctions against Pelosi herself and her immediate family members. The US, as the deliberate perpetrator of this crisis, and Pelosi, as the troublemaker, should and must take full responsibility for this,” the embassy argued.
“China’s measures are also necessary for upholding regional peace and stability as well as international law and basic norms governing international relations. If China does not firmly oppose the irresponsible and provocative actions by the US, the purposes of the UN Charter, such as the respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity, and other basic norms governing international relations will be reduced to nothing but words on paper.”
The embassy said more than 170 states across the world have issued remarks reaffirming their adherence to the one-China policy.