White House condemns China for ‘fundamentally irresponsible’ move to close communications with US on climate

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The White House condemned China for closing down engagement with the United States on a range of “critical issues,” including climate, calling the move “fundamentally irresponsible,” and one that punishes not just America but “the whole world.”

China has suspended all planned discussions with the U.S. on key international issues as retaliation against the U.S. congressional delegation’s visit to Taiwan.

Beijing on Friday made the announcement that the Chinese Communist Party was canceling all discussions of climate change, drug networks and military action.

China attributed the decision to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s congressional delegation and their trip to Taiwan.

White House National Security Council coordinator for strategic communications John Kirby stressed the importance of open lines of communication between the United States and China.

John Kirby, National Security Council Coordinator for Strategic Communications, takes part in White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre’s press briefing at the White House in Washington, U.S., August 1, 2022. REUTERS/Leah Millis
(REUTERS/Leah Millis)

“I’m sure you will see the announcements by China today that they are closing down engagement with the United States on a range of critical issues to include climate change … we believe that this is fundamentally irresponsible,” Kirby said. “China is not just punishing the United States with this act, with these actions, but they’re actually punishing the whole world.”

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He added: “The world’s largest emitter now is refusing to engage on critical steps necessary to stand up to the climate crisis.”

Kirby also stressed that the “lines of communication are actually important for helping reduce the risk, miscalculation and misperception.”

Kirby said, though, that not all channels of communications are shut down.

Chinese President Xi Jinping attends a commendation ceremony for role models of the Beijing Winter Olympics and Paralympics at the Great Hall of the People on April 8 in Beijing. An Australian man provoked anger from supporters of Xi by holding a sign at a Sydney marker insulting the communist leader.
(AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)

“Bottom line is we’re going to continue our efforts to keep open the lines of communication with Beijing while defending our interests and our values in the region,” Kirby said, adding that “not all channels of communication between the military leaders are shut down.”

The White House summoned the Chinese ambassador to the White House Thursday to “make clear our positions about their provocative actions.”

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“We also made clear to the ambassador that Beijing’s actions are of concern of course not only to us, but to Taiwan and to the rest of the world,” Kirby explained.

Kirby said that the Biden administration, during the meeting, explained so that the Chinese ambassador “understood clearly and without doubt that nothing has changed about America’s ‘One China’ policy.”

This week, amid escalating tensions with Beijing, the United States delayed a scheduled test of an intercontinental ballistic missile, as China deployed dozens of military aircraft and missiles in the Taiwan Strait in recent days.

“We do not believe it is in our interests, Taiwan’s interests, the region’s interests to allow tensions to escalate further, which is why a long-planned Minuteman III ICBM test scheduled for this week has been rescheduled for the near future,” Kirby said at a White House briefing Thursday.

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“As China engages in destabilizing military exercises around Taiwan, the United States is demonstrating instead the behavior of a responsible nuclear power by reducing the risks of miscalculation and misperception.”

President Biden signs two bills aimed at combating fraud in the COVID-19 small business relief programs Friday, Aug. 5, 2022, at the White House in Washington.
(AP Photo/Evan Vucci, Pool)

Pelosi, D-Calif., visited Taiwan earlier this week and met with President Tsai Ing-wen and Foreign Minister Joseph Wu.

China strongly condemned the visit and launched a series of live-fire military drills in waters around Taiwan, deploying J-20 stealth fighter jets and DF-17 hypersonic missiles.

China could invade Taiwan within the next 18 months, current and former officials familiar with U.S. and allied intelligence told Fox News, suggesting a particularly “dangerous” window between the meeting of the National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party this November and the next U.S. presidential election in 2024.

Two former senior officials told Fox News that the intelligence suggests China sees the potential opportunity for an amphibious assault and military invasion of Taiwan in that time frame.