US calls China reaction to Pelosi’s Taiwan visit ‘flagrantly provocative’

PHNOM PENH (REUTERS, BLOOMBERG) – United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken told an Asian meeting of top diplomats on Friday (Aug 5) that China’s reaction to US house speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan was “flagrantly provocative”, a western official said.

Blinken, speaking at the East Asia Summit in Cambodia, said China had sought to intimidate not only Taiwan, but neighbours too, after it launched the largest-ever military drills in the Taiwan Strait, the official said.

Blinken accused China of seeking to change the status quo in the Taiwan Strait with missile tests and military drills following Pelosi’s visit to the island.

Blinken made the remarks at the a summit that was also attended by Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov.

The top US diplomat said there was no justification for China’s military response in reaction to what he called a peaceful visit from Pelosi, including firing missiles into Japan’s exclusive economic zone, according to a Western official who was in attendance.