Dendias meets with Chinese counterpart on ASEAN sidelines despite Taiwan tensions

ASEAN Foreign Affairs Summit 2022 Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias

Despite tensions in the Taiwan Straits, Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias met with his Chinese counterpart on Wednesday on the sidelines of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit being held in the Cambodian capital Phnom Penh.

Dendias said on Twitter: "On the sidelines of the ASEAN Foreign Affairs Summit, I held a bilateral meeting with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi. Discussion on Greece-China relations in light of the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations, with a focus on trade, investment, tourism & culture."

Nikos Dendias Wang Yi ASEAN 2022 August 3

"In addition, the situation in the Eastern Mediterranean & Cyprus was discussed. We both underlined the need to respect the sovereignty & territorial integrity of all states," he added.

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US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi landed in Taiwan Tuesday evening, marking a significant show of support for Taiwan despite China's threats of retaliation over the visit.

Pelosi's stop in Taipei is the first time that a US House speaker has visited Taiwan in 25 years. Her trip comes at a low point in US-China relations and despite warnings from the Biden administration against a stop in Taiwan.

The California Democrat is leading a congressional delegation on a tour in Asia this week, which includes stops in Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea, and Japan. Although not included in her official itinerary, expectations that she was planning a visit to Taiwan have fueled US-China tensions since reports of her trip emerged last month.

In a statement after landing, Pelosi and the congressional delegation that accompanied her said the visit "honours America's unwavering commitment to supporting Taiwan's vibrant democracy."

Pelosi, a forthright critic of Beijing, has previously said it is important for the US to show support for Taiwan.

China has lashed out at the visit. In a statement following Pelosi's arrival, China's Foreign Ministry said the trip would have a "severe impact on the political foundation of China-US relations."

"China will definitely take all necessary measures to resolutely safeguard its sovereignty and territorial integrity in response to the US Speaker's visit," the statement said.

A spokesman for China's Ministry of Defense said the People's Liberation Army was "on high alert" and would launch "a series of targeted military operations to counteract the situation, resolutely defend national sovereignty and territorial integrity, and resolutely thwart the interference of external forces and 'Taiwan independence' secessionist schemes."

Meanwhile, Dendias also announced meeting with Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani_ on the sidelines of ASEAN Foreign Ministers meeting.

"Constructive discussion on Greece-Qatar relations, focus on economic ties and investment, Eastern Mediterranean, Afghanistan and Iran," he tweeted.

READ MORE: Greece-Southeast Asia Diplomacy: Dendias signs friendship treaty with ASEAN at meeting in Phnom Penh.