China has summoned the American ambassador to Beijing over US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's visit to Taiwan, notifying the envoy about the country’s strong protest at the highly-controversial trip.
Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Xie Feng summoned the US diplomat, Nicholas Burns, on Tuesday after Pelosi’s plane touched down at Taipei's International Airport, China’s Xinhua news agency reported.
China enjoys sovereignty over Taiwan under the “One China” policy. Almost all world countries recognize that sovereignty.
The United States, too, recognizes Chinese sovereignty over the island, but has long courted the Taipei in an attempt to unnerve Beijing.
Washington, which backs Chinese Taipei’s secessionist president, also continues to sell weapons to the island nation in violation of its own stated policy.
Xie compared Pelosi’s visit to “playing with fire,” adding, "The move is extremely egregious in nature and the consequences are extremely serious. China will not sit idly by."
The visit has a severe impact on the political foundation of the Sino-American relations, and seriously infringes on China's sovereignty and territorial integrity, he said.
The United States must not go further down the wrong path, escalating tensions and making the situation across the Taiwan Strait and the bilateral relations irreparable, Xie said.
"Taiwan is China's Taiwan, and Taiwan will eventually return to the embrace of the motherland," said the Chinese official.
Also on Tuesday, the Chinese military said it would launch "targeted military operations" in response to Pelosi's visit.
Wu Qian, a spokesman for the Chinese Defense Ministry, said the military operations would be aimed at defending China's territorial integrity and countering foreign interference in Taiwan's affairs.
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