Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi stormed out of the gala dinner organised for ASEAN foreign ministers in Cambodia’s Phnom Penh on Thursday. He did not give any reason behind leaving the venue early, news agency Reuters reported.
Wang Yi entered the holding room for dinner and walked out of the venue shortly after entering the gala dinner. Two persons working at the venue said Yi left in a vehicle.
The meeting was also attended by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Japanese foreign minister Yoshimasa Hayashi and also Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov.
Wang Yi kept his word by leaving the gala dinner on Thursday evening. It is likely that Wang Yi was instructed to leave the dinner if he spotted his American counterpart Blinken at the gala dinner.
The reluctance to attend the dinner not only shows the severity of the effects of US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s recently concluded Taiwan trip.
However, as the ASEAN directly refrained from commenting on the visit, it shows that for the ASEAN foreign ministers and the other foreign ministers who attended the event it was business as usual.
Foreign ministers of Australia, Canada, China, India, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea, Russia, the UK and the US as well as a delegation from the European Union (EU) who are ASEAN 11 key dialogue partners are also attending the meeting.
It was known earlier that Yi will avoid speaking to Blinken during the 55th ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting and related meetings in Phnom Penh. Hua Chunying earlier this week, shortly after Pelosi landed in Taiwan, told news agency Global Times that the decision to snub Blinken is to display China’s outrage.
Meanwhile, Pelosi is continuing her trip to Asia and visited Japan on Friday. She met Japanese prime minister Fumio Kishida with whom she discussed issues of regional and global importance.
China also continued its sabre-rattling near the Taiwan Strait and carried out five ballistic missile launches – all of which landed in the Japanese Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and flew over Taiwan.
Japan said these war drills threaten Japan’s national security. The US also said that China’s response to Pelosi’s visit is an overreaction.