Angry China stages more drills near Taiwan as U.S. lawmakers visit

Date:

  • China holds drills near Taiwan as US lawmakers visit
  • China shows images of Taiwan’s strategic Penghu Islands
  • Taiwan President: Committed to Maintaining Stability

BEIJING/TAIPEI, Aug. 15 (Reuters) – The Chinese military said it conducted more exercises near Taiwan on Monday, when a group of US lawmakers visited the island claimed by China and met President Tsai Ing-wen, who said her government committed to maintaining stability.

The five US lawmakers, led by Senator Ed Markey, arrived in Taipei late Sunday for an unannounced visit, the second high-level group to visit after that of US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in early August. , those few days of Chinese war games.

The Chinese military unit responsible for the area bordering Taiwan, the People’s Liberation Army Eastern Theater Command, said Monday it had organized multi-service joint combat readiness patrols and combat exercises in the sea and airspace around Taiwan.

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The exercises were “a powerful deterrent to the United States and Taiwan that continue to play political tricks and undermine peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait,” it added.

China’s defense ministry said in a separate statement that the lawmakers’ journey infringed on China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and “fully exposes the true face of the United States as a spoiler and spoiler of peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait” .

“The Chinese People’s Liberation Army continues to train and prepare for war, resolutely defend national sovereignty and territorial integrity, and resolutely suppress any form of ‘Taiwan independence’ separatism and foreign interference.”

The theater commando said the exercises took place near Taiwan’s Penghu Islands, which lie in the Taiwan Strait and are home to a major air force base, and showed close-up videos of the islands taken by a Chinese air force plane.

Tsai, who met with lawmakers in her office, said the exercises in China had severely affected regional peace and stability.

“We are working closely with international allies to closely monitor the military situation. At the same time, we are doing everything we can to let the world know that Taiwan is committed to preserving stability and the status quo in the Taiwan Strait “, she said. said, in video footage provided by the presidential office.

Markey told Tsai that “we have a moral obligation” to do everything we can to avoid unnecessary conflict.

“Taiwan has shown incredible restraint and discretion in difficult times,” he added.

Taiwan’s Defense Ministry said 15 Chinese planes had crossed the median line of the Taiwan Strait, an unofficial barrier between the two, on Monday, adding it condemned China’s new exercises and would face them “quietly”.

LOW KEY

Pelosi’s visit infuriated China, which responded with first-ever test launches of ballistic missiles over Taipei, and fled a number of lines of dialogue with Washington, including theater-military talks and on climate change.

However, this trip was much calmer than Pelosi’s, with Tsai’s meeting with lawmakers not being live on her social media pages, which is the common practice when high-level foreign guests come.

The group left Taiwan late Monday afternoon and only after that did the presidential office release images of the meeting with Tsai.

It was not immediately clear where they were going.

The de facto US embassy in Taipei said they had also met with Secretary of State Joseph Wu and members of the Taiwan Parliament’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee.

“Authoritarian China cannot dictate how democratic Taiwan makes friends,” Wu said on Twitter of their meeting.

The United States has no formal diplomatic ties with Taiwan, but is required by law to provide the democratically governed island with the means to defend itself.

China has never ruled out using force to control Taiwan. The government of Taiwan says the People’s Republic of China has never ruled the island and thus has no right to claim it, and that only the 23 million people can decide their future.

Taiwanese Prime Minister Su Tseng-chang said they would not be deterred by China’s response to such visits from foreign friends.

“We can’t just do nothing because there’s an angry neighbor next door, and don’t dare to let visitors or friends come,” he told reporters.

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Reporting by Ryan Woo and Ben Blanchard in Taipei; Editing by Himani Sarkar, Robert Birsel and Raissa Kasolowsky

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

The Valley Voice
The Valley Voicehttp://thevalleyvoice.org
Christopher Brito is a social media producer and trending writer for The Valley Voice, with a focus on sports and stories related to race and culture.

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