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'Impunity and lawlessness': Russia, N. Korea, Pakistan rap Pelosi's Taiwan visit

US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, 2nd left, speaks during a meeting at the presidential office in Chinese Taipei, August 3, 2022. (Via Reuters)

The controversial two-day visit to Chinese Taipei by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has drawn strong reactions from many countries, who have blasted the US government for provoking Beijing. 

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, during his visit to Myanmar on Wednesday, termed Pelosi's visit a deliberate attempt by Washington to annoy China.

The top Russian diplomat accused the United States of acting with impunity and said he believes the US official's Taiwan visit was prompted by Washington's desire to prove its "impunity and lawlessness."

"I see no other reason to create such an annoyance almost out of the blue, knowing very well what it means for the People's Republic of China," he said.

Lavrov termed the controversial trip, which sent shock waves across the region, a display of American disregard for international norms. 

“It was the drive to prove to everyone their impunity and to act accordingly. ‘I do whatever I want’, something like that,” said the Russian foreign minister. “I can hardly imagine any other reason to create a flashpoint out of thin air, despite knowing what it would mean for China.”

Pelosi arrived on the self-ruled island on Tuesday and met its leader Tsai Ing-wen. Beijing had already issued stern warnings against the visit.

Russia, which has forged close ties with China in recent years, had also warned Washington that Pelosi's visit can put it on a collision course with Beijing. 

In a press briefing on Tuesday, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said Russia views the visit as a “provocation", while extending Moscow's support to Beijing's One China principle, and opposition to Taiwanese independence “in any form.”

In an interview with state-run Sputnik radio on Wednesday, Zakharova termed Pelosi's visit to Taiwan an attempt to divert attention from what she called a "disaster" in Ukraine that Washington "created with their own hands."

"This is an absolute disaster that the United States itself created with its own hands around Ukraine, the failure of everything that is connected in this regard in the European direction. Europeans have turned to Washington and wonder what will happen next because winter is around the corner," she said. 

"The impasse required a drastic change in the information paradigm, which Pelosi did."

Moscow and Beijing both recognize Taiwan as part of China and oppose independence for the island.

North Korea, Pakistan also denounce Pelosi's Taiwan visit

In its reaction to Pelosi's visit, North Korea said it was an “impudent interference” in China’s internal affairs.

In a statement, the North Korean Foreign Ministry said it “vehemently” denounces any external interference in Taiwan and supports “the Chinese government’s just stand to resolutely defend the sovereignty of the country and territorial integrity."

“Taiwan is an inseparable part of China, and the issue of Taiwan pertains to the internal affairs of China,” said the statement published by the state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).

“Those who play with fire will perish by it,” China’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Tuesday.

Pakistan also issued a statement, reaffirming its commitment to the ‘One-China’ policy and blasting the US official's visit to Taiwan.

In a statement on Wednesday, Pakistan’s Foreign Office Spokesperson Asim Iftikhar voiced firm support for China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. “Pakistan is deeply concerned over the evolving situation in the Taiwan Strait, which has serious implications for regional peace and stability.”

Pelosi met Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen on Wednesday during her visit which Beijing views as a provocation and as a challenge to its sovereignty. 

"Today the world faces a choice between democracy and autocracy," Pelosi said. "America's determination to preserve democracy here in Taiwan and around the world remains ironclad."

China reiterated its warning on Wednesday, saying that Washington should be prepared for "extremely serious consequences."

The Chinese military said it was on "high alert" and would "launch a series of targeted military actions in response" to the visit.

China believes trips by US officials encourage separatist forces on the island and thus violate China’s territorial integrity.

Chinese Taipei falls under China's sovereignty, and under the One China policy, almost all world countries — the US included — recognize that sovereignty. 

But, in violation of its own stated policy and in an attempt to irritate Beijing, Washington has maintained and recently ramped up diplomatic contact with the self-proclaimed government in Chinese Taipei. Washington is also the island's largest weapon supplier.

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