The White House has summoned China's ambassador to Washington to censure what it called the "irresponsible" behavior of Beijing over Chinese Taipei (Taiwan).
John Kirby, a spokesman for the US National Security Council, said that Ambassador Qin Gang was summoned following China's brinkmanship in response to US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s widely disapproved visit to self-ruled Taiwan despite China’s increasing warnings.
Pelosi’s brief visit this week enraged Beijing and triggered Chinese military drills on an unprecedented scale in the seas and air around the island, bringing backlash from the US and other Western allies.
Kirby called China's actions "provocative.”
"We condemned the PRC's military actions, which are irresponsible, at odds with our long-standing goal of maintaining peace and stability and across the Taiwan Strait," he said, referring to China by its official acronym for the People's Republic of China.
"We made clear to the ambassador that Beijing's actions are of concern to Taiwan, to us, and to our partners around the world," Kirby said.
"Finally, we made clear once again as we have done privately at the highest levels and publicly: nothing has changed about our one-China policy," Kirby said.
Relations between Washington and Beijing have hit a new low over the self-ruled island. China sees Taiwan as part of its territory and has already warned Washington against playing with fire, vowing to punish those who ignore Beijing’s warnings.
Under the “one China” policy, nearly all countries across the globe, the US included, recognize Beijing’s sovereignty over Chinese Taipei. However, Washington continues to court the secessionist government in Taipei, support its anti-China stance, and supply it with massive amounts of armaments.
"We also made clear that the United States is prepared for what Beijing chooses to do. We will not seek and do not want a crisis," Kirby said.
He added, "At the same time, we will not be deterred from operating in the seas and skies of the Western Pacific, consistent with international law, as we have for decades -- supporting Taiwan and defending a free and open" Pacific region.
On the final leg of her tour of Asia, Pelosi said in Tokyo on Friday that Washington would "not allow" China to isolate Taipei.
"They may try to keep Taiwan from visiting or participating in other places, but they will not isolate Taiwan by preventing us to travel there," she told reporters in Tokyo.
"We had high-level visits, senators in the spring, the bi-partisan way, continuing visits, and we will not allow them to isolate Taiwan,” she said.