China Sanctions Nancy Pelosi over House Speaker’s Taiwan Visit

In response to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-CA) visit to Taiwan earlier this week, China has announced it will place sanctions on Pelosi and her family members.

In a statement released Friday, a spokesperson for China’s Foreign Ministry called the House speaker’s visit an “egregious provocation” and a “gross interference in China’s internal affairs.”

“In disregard of China’s grave concerns and firm opposition, Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi insisted on visiting China’s Taiwan region. This constitutes a gross interference in China’s internal affairs,” the spokesperson said.

“It gravely undermines China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, seriously tramples on the one-China principle, and severely threatens peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait,” they continued. “In response to Pelosi’s egregious provocation, China decides to adopt sanctions on Pelosi and her immediate family members in accordance with relevant laws of the People’s Republic of China.”

For weeks leading up to Pelosi’s visit, Chinese officials repeatedly warned that a visit to the self-governing island — which China claims as part of its own territory — would lead to harsh consequences and a soured U.S.-China relationship.

In addition to sanctioning the Pelosi family, China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has begun live-fire military drills in multiple locations around Taiwan. Speaking to state-run media, Chinese officials have claimed the drills are “rehearsals” for how the military would act in the event of an actual conflict.

On Friday, China also announced it was suspending communication with a number of U.S. officials who were cooperating with the communist nation on issues of climate change and transnational crime.

Speaking at a press conference in Tokyo on Thursday, Pelosi claimed her Taiwan visit was not meant to challenge the “status quo.”

“Our representation here is not about changing the status quo here in Asia, changing the status quo of Taiwan,” Pelosi said.

“It’s about the Taiwan relations and the U.S.-China policy, all of the pieces of legislation and agreements that have established what our relationship is, to have peace in the Taiwan Straits and to have the status quo prevail.”

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken echoed Pelosi, saying the U.S. does not “seek…a crisis.”