China’s military said it was carrying out more exercises near Taiwan as a delegation of US politicians visited the Chinese-claimed island and met President Tsai Ing-wen, who said her government was determined to maintain stability.
- China accuses US of encouraging island independence
- Washington says it does not support independence but is legally bound to ensure the island can defend itself
- The Chinese military said it has held multi-service joint combat readiness patrols and combat drills around Taiwan.
The five US diplomats – led by Democratic Senator Ed Markey – arrived in Taipei for an unannounced visit on Sunday evening, the second high-level group to visit after that of US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi in early August, who triggered for several days. Chinese war games.
Ms Pelosi was the highest-ranking member of the US government to visit Taiwan in 25 years, and her trip sparked nearly two weeks of menacing military drills from China.
During these drills, Beijing fired missiles over the island and into the Taiwan Strait and sent warplanes and navy ships across the centerline of the waterway, which has long served as a buffer between the parties that broke up in the midst of the Civil War in 1949.
China accuses the United States of encouraging the island’s independence through arms sales and engagement between American politicians and the island’s government.
Washington says it does not support independence, has no formal diplomatic relations with the island and argues the two sides should settle their dispute peacefully – but it is legally bound to ensure the island can defend itself against any attack.
US and Taiwanese officials have accused China of using Ms Pelosi’s visit as a pretext for intimidation, and a senior US official recently said that Washington will continue to deepen its ties with Taiwan in the days and weeks coming.
“China will take resolute and strong measures to uphold national sovereignty and territorial integrity,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said in a daily briefing on Monday.
“A handful of American politicians, in collusion with separatist Taiwan independence forces, are trying to challenge the ‘One China’ principle, which is beyond their reach and doomed to failure.”
On Monday, the Chinese military unit responsible for the area adjacent to Taiwan, the People’s Liberation Army Eastern Theater Command, said it had conducted multi-service joint combat readiness patrols and combat drills in the sea and airspace around Taiwan.
He added that the drills were “a powerful deterrent to the United States and Taiwan as they continue to play political tricks and undermine peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait.”
The theater command said the drills took place near Taiwan’s Penghu Islands, which are in the Taiwan Strait and are home to a major air base, and showed close-up video of the islands taken by a plane from the Chinese Air Force.
In a harshly worded statement, China’s Defense Ministry said its armed forces were training for war and would crush any attempt at Taiwan independence.
Taiwan’s Defense Ministry said 15 Chinese planes crossed the center line of the Taiwan Strait again on Monday, adding it condemned the new Chinese drills and would confront them “calmly”.
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