The United States says that China's decision to halt cooperation in a number of critical areas, including climate change, over Taiwan was "fundamentally irresponsible."

China has conducted a series of huge military drills around Taiwan that have been roundly condemned by the United States and other Western allies.
China has conducted a series of huge military drills around Taiwan that have been roundly condemned by the United States and other Western allies. (Reuters)

The United States has condemned China for cutting off bilateral cooperation in a number of key areas, and said Beijing can ease tensions over Taiwan by ending its "provocative" military drills.

National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby said on Friday that China's decision to halt engagement on climate change and other issues was "fundamentally irresponsible."

"They think they're punishing us by shutting down this channel," Kirby told reporters.

"They're actually punishing the whole world because the climate crisis doesn't recognize geographic boundaries and borders," he said. "It's truly a global and existential crisis.

"The world's largest emitter now is refusing to engage on critical steps necessary to combat the climate crisis, which actually impacts our partners from rising sea levels in the Pacific Islands and fires across Europe," Kirby added.

China said it was ending cooperation with the United States on a litany of key issues including climate change, anti-drug efforts and military talks, as relations between the two superpowers nosedive over Taiwan.

READ MORE: China sanctions Nancy Pelosi, scraps cooperation with US on key issues

Huge military drills

Beijing has reacted furiously to a visit by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to Taiwan, which it claims as its territory and has vowed to retake — by force if necessary. 

Since Thursday, China has conducted a series of huge military drills around Taiwan that have been roundly condemned by the United States and other Western allies.

Kirby said China can "go a long way to taking the tensions down simply by stopping these provocative military exercises and ending the rhetoric."

READ MORE: Explainer: China-Taiwan conflict is rooted in the 1945 civil war

Source: AFP