Beijing has decided to sanction Nancy Pelosi and her immediate family over her trip to Taiwan this week, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson announced on Friday.
The US House speaker’s trip to Taiwan was an “egregious provocation” and because of this, “China decides to adopt sanctions on Pelosi and her immediate family members in accordance with relevant laws” of the country, the spokesperson said in a statement.
Pelosi traveled to the self-governed island “in disregard of China’s grave concerns and firm opposition,” the statement read.
Her visit “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,” it added.
The House speaker’s husband, Paul Pelosi, who is also 82, owns a San Francisco-based real estate and venture capital investment and consulting firm. They have five children, one of whom, Christine Pelosi, 56, is a strategist for the Democratic Party. Their youngest daughter, Alexandra, 51, is a filmmaker with more than a dozen documentaries on her resume.
Pelosi, who is third in line to the US presidency, arrived in Taiwan late Tuesday and left the next day, becoming the highest-ranking American official to visit the island since 1997.
The House speaker made the trip despite Beijing, which considers Taiwan part of its territory, calling the move “dangerous and provocative” and promising a strong response.
While Pelosi was still in Taipei, the Chinese authorities announced the largest ever military drill in the Taiwan Strait and slapped trade restrictions on the island.
The military exercises and live-fire drills in six maritime areas around the island kicked off on Thursday and are set to continue until Sunday.
Taiwan has been self-governed since 1949, but never officially declared independence from China. Despite officially recognizing Beijing as the sole legitimate authority in China since 1979, the US maintains strong unofficial ties with the island of 23.5 million, selling weapons to Taipei and supporting its push for sovereignty.