China will view further U.S. arms sales, official travel to Taiwan or naval activity near the self-governing island as provocations that will further destabilize relations and prevent progress on other issues, Beijing's ambassador to the U.S. warned Tuesday.
Why it matters: Ambassador Qin Gang said if Washington doesn’t "show restraint" in the wake of Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan, there will be "another round of tensions" — and no dialogue on issues like climate change and nuclear security.
State of play: China conducted weeklong military drills after Pelosi's trip earlier this month. They appeared to be a dress rehearsal for subduing Taiwan and involved newly aggressive steps, like disregarding the median line between Taiwan and the mainland.
Still, both sides acknowledge that tensions over Taiwan are escalating dangerously and poisoning the broader relationship.
Setting the scene: Speaking to small group of reporters in Washington, Qin spoke on-the-record for 80 minutes, fielding questions on a range of sensitive issues — something of a rarity for senior Chinese officials.
What's next: The U.S. plans to send naval vessels through the Taiwan Strait in the coming weeks and to approve additional arms sales to Taiwan.
What to watch: Qin reiterated that Taiwan must be reunified with mainland China, but said he found recent reporting that the timeline for a potential invasion is growing shorter to be "baseless."
Worth noting: Qin rejected the idea that Biden — who said publicly that the U.S. military felt Pelosi's visit was "not a good idea" — hadn't sanctioned Pelosi's visit.

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