US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has traveled to Taiwan to meet the President. Meanwhile, China has announced military operations, exercises and missile tests in the region, saying “those who play with fire will perish”.
Finally she did: Nancy Pelosi boarded a plane in Malaysia and landed in the Taiwanese capital of Taipei via a long route across the South China Sea. Pelosi and a congressional delegation will visit US allies in the Indo-Pacific region this week. It has been rumored for some time that he will also visit Taiwan, although that has not been officially confirmed.
Pelosi’s stop in Taiwan is highly sensitive to China. That country views Taiwan as a renegade province that must sooner or later be brought back under Chinese rule, if necessary by force. The visit by Pelosi, a party colleague of President Joe Biden and third in rank after Vice President Kamala Harris, implicitly recognized Taiwan as a separate country to China.
A live broadcast from Taipei airport showed Pelosi and her entourage being greeted by a large crowd. It is not known how long the 82-year-old Democrat will stay in Taiwan, but President Tsai’s office has announced that a meeting between the two is on the agenda, followed by a joint lunch.
China is flexing its military muscles
Meanwhile, China’s Defense Ministry said the military had been put on high alert and that “targeted military operations” would be conducted in response to Pelosi’s visit.
Meanwhile, the military will hold military drills and missile tests in the sea east of Taiwan from Tuesday night. There will be air and sea maneuvers to the north, southwest and northeast of Taiwan, and live long-range munitions will be fired in the Taiwan Strait.
Shortly before Pelosi landed in Taipei at 10:43pm local time (4:43pm Belgium time), Chinese state television also showed images of what appeared to be Chinese warplanes over the Taiwan Strait, the strait between the island and mainland China. On Tuesday evening, Taiwan’s Ministry of Defense announced that 21 Chinese aircraft had already flown over Taiwan’s airspace.
“China will absolutely not accept this.”
The Chinese Foreign Ministry is interested in the US. The fact that Pelosi is an independent and did not have the full support of President Biden prior to the visit to Taiwan is irrelevant to Beijing. As Pelosi is the current Speaker of the US Congress, her visit to Taiwan is a major political provocation to improve official US-Taiwan relations. China does not accept it at all, and the Chinese people also reject it.’
“These moves are very dangerous like playing with fire. Those who play with fire will perish,” the ministry said. China says it will take all necessary measures to protect its sovereignty and territorial integrity. “The United States and the separatist Taiwan Freedom Forces must bear all the consequences.”
However, China is also asking the US to cooperate. “China and America are two big countries. The right way to treat one another is to live in peace with mutual respect.’ The U.S. should “stop meddling in Taiwan and meddling in China’s internal affairs, and not continue down the wrong and dangerous path.”
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