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Pelosi inflames regional tension with provocative tour

Frank Smith
Press TV, Seoul

With her trip to Taiwan this week, speaker of the US House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, set off a firestorm in offending China.

From the self-governing territory, Pelosi criticized Beijing and its leadership, while carefully outlining the limitations of the US commitment to defend the island.

China had warned the US and Pelosi against the visit, as it views Taiwan as a breakaway province that will one day rejoin a “one” China. In response to Pelosi’s Taiwan visit, China’s People’s Liberation Army Thursday began the largest military exercises targeting Taiwan in decades.

In South Korea, Pelosi met with the speaker of the National Assembly. Seoul has been careful to balance its US military alliance and relations with its largest trading partner, China. Pelosi spoke with South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol on the phone, but the two did not meet, an outcome widely viewed as a snub of the third ranked US official.

Speaker Pelosi later stopped in Japan where she met with Prime Minister Fumio Kishida. China later Friday announced sanctions against Pelosi and the suspension – on several issues - of cooperation with the US.

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