(FiveNation.com)- House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s trip to Taiwan recently has angered Chinese officials, and diplomats in the Communist country are letting American ambassadors know about it.
Nicholas Burns, the top U.S. envoy serving in Beijing, was summoned late at night from a senior diplomat in the Chinese government, who gave him a “dressing-down” over America’s inability to block Pelosi’s plans for visiting Taiwan.
According to Xinhua, the official news service in China, Beijing vice foreign minister Xie Feng called Burns and “lodged stern representations and strong protests” regarding Pelosi going to visit Taiwan.
While Taiwan is a democratic island, China views the country as part of its territory. They just have exercised no jurisdiction over Taiwan or the people who live there.
When Pelosi stepped for on Taiwanese soil, she became the first current Speaker of the House to do so in 25 years. During her meeting with Taiwan’s president, Tsai Ing-wen, Pelosi said:
“America made a bedrock promise to always stand with Taiwan.”
The entire visit is not something that China took lightly to at all. In fact, China’s vice foreign minister was direct with Burns in telling him that the U.S. was to blame for allowing Pelosi to visit Taiwan. All along, the White House has been saying that, due to the separation of powers in the U.S., they have no authority to tell Congress or its members what to do.
The readout of the meeting between Xie and Burns read:
“Xie said the U.S. government must be held accountable. He said the U.S. government has indulged rather than restrained Pelosi’s willful act, leading to the escalation of tensions across the Taiwan Strait and seriously undermined the China-U.S. relations.”
Pelosi was only in Taiwan for less than a day, yet China responded swiftly and seriously. First, they placed economic sanctions that included blanket bans on imports from Taiwan. The military in China announced it would conduct missile tests and live-fire exercises around Taiwan between Thursday and Sunday.
Those six locations include zones that overlap the territorial air space and sea that Taiwan has.
For America’s part, the State Department released a statement via a spokesperson that said:
“[Burns] explained that the Speaker of the House has the right to travel to Taiwan and that her trip is fully consistent with our one China policy, which is based on the Taiwan Relations Act, Three Communiques and Six Assurances. That policy has not changed.
“Ambassador Burns also reiterated that the United States will not escalate and stands ready to work with China to prevent escalation altogether. He also pledged the United States’ intent to keep lines of communication open.”
The Chinese Foreign Ministry was having none of that, though. They released a statement of their own on Tuesday that said that all Congress members should be beholden to the one China policy, just like members of the executive branch are.
That statement read:
“Since Speaker Pelosi is the incumbent leader of the U.S. Congress, her visit to and activities in Taiwan, in whatever form and for whatever reason, is a major political provocation to upgrade U.S. official exchanges with Taiwan.”