Nancy Pelosi says the US will not allow China to isolate Taiwan, where China is conducting military exercises

Pelosi said at a press conference in Tokyo during the last leg of her Asian tour that China has sought to isolate Taiwan from the international community but will not prevent US officials from traveling there.

“We will not allow (China) to isolate Taiwan,” she said. “They don’t make our travel schedule.”

Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan on Wednesday, when she met with President Tsai Ing-wen and other leaders, angered the Chinese Communist Party, which views the democratic autonomous island as its own territory — even though it has never controlled it.

Ahead of the visit, Beijing warned it would take “resolute measures” if Pelosi went ahead. Upon leaving, she undertook military exercises with live ammunition And they sent missiles over Taiwan for the first time.

Taiwan’s Defense Ministry said that as of 11 a.m. Friday, several Chinese military aircraft and warships had conducted exercises around the Taiwan Strait and crossed the center line – the midpoint between the island and mainland China.

The ministry said Taiwan’s military responded with radio warnings, air patrol forces, naval ships and missile systems ashore.

On Thursday, China sent 22 warplanes to the Taiwan Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ), all of which cross the center line.

A number of countries, including the Group of Seven, which includes some of the world’s largest economies, criticized the Chinese exercises, urging Beijing not to change the status quo in the region.

In her comments on Friday, Pelosi said the visit to Taiwan was aimed at maintaining the status quo.

“It’s about the Taiwan Relations Act, the US-China policy, all the legislation and agreements that established what our relationship is — for the sake of peace in the Taiwan Strait, and for the status quo to prevail,” she said.

Pelosi also dismissed suggestions by some critics that her visit had more to do with polishing her legacy than benefiting the island, calling the claim “ridiculous.”

She noted Taiwan’s “free and open democracy,” a successful economy and relatively progressive gay rights. “It’s not about me – it’s about them,” she added. “It’s about Taiwan, and I’m proud that I’ve worked over the years to show the concerns he has with mainland China.”

Later on Friday, China’s Foreign Ministry announced that it would impose sanctions on Pelosi and her immediate family for her “evil and provocative actions,” saying her trip amounted to “serious interference in China’s internal affairs (and) seriously undermining China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.”

Meanwhile, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on Friday called for an immediate halt to China’s exercises, describing it as a “serious issue concerning the security of our country and its people.”

Earlier, Japan filed an official complaint after five Chinese missiles landed in its exclusive economic zone.

Amid deteriorating relations, China canceled a scheduled meeting between the foreign ministers of China and Japan.

Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Deng Li on Thursday summoned envoys to China from European countries, the European Union and Japan to protest their remarks on Taiwan.

Ding said the G7 statement “distorted facts” and was a “blatant political provocation”, accusing the countries concerned of interfering in China’s internal affairs.

Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan was the first for a House speaker in 25 years, since former House Speaker Newt Gingrich visited in 1997. Her Asian tour also included stops in Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea and Japan.

CNN’s Gawon Bae and Yong Xiong in Seoul, Emiko Jozuka in Tokyo, Eric Cheung in Taipei, and Sam Fossum in Washington contributed to this report.

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