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Beijing Starts More Live Fire Drills Around Taiwan To Protest Democratic Senator Markey's Visit

Tyler Durden's Photo
by Tyler Durden
Monday, Aug 15, 2022 - 01:21 PM

The excessive carbon dioxide emissions from the Pelosi delegation visit is still fresh in the Taiwan air, and already China’s military warned that it is holding fresh patrols around Taiwan to “fight back” against another US congressional visit less than two weeks after the House Speaker's controversial trip to Taipei.

Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen meets US Senator Ed Markey at the presidential office in Taipei, Taiwan, on Monday

The PLA started live drills around Taiwan on Monday, the SCMP reported, as the island’s president received the first US congress delegation since a visit by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi drew unprecedented military pressure from Beijing two weeks ago.

“This is a resolute counterstrike and solemn deterrence to the consecutive provocations by the US and Taiwan that undermine peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait,” Wu Qian, a spokesman for China’s defence ministry, said. He added that the visit led by Democratic Senator Ed Markey sent the wrong signals to pro-independence forces in Taiwan. Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense said Monday that it detected 30 Chinese military planes and five warships around Taiwan’s surrounding region.

According to Bloomberg, unlike earlier this month when China conducted live-fire exercises and likely fired ballistic missiles over Taiwan’s main island, Beijing didn’t immediately specify exclusion areas for commercial planes or ships to avoid. Chinese naval vessels and warplanes have regularly breached the US-drawn median line that divides the Taiwan Strait since Pelosi’s arrival on Aug. 2.

In Beijing, foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said Beijing had repeatedly warned against the trip, which breached the one-China principle and the three joint communiques signed by Washington.  Wang also said the visit “blatantly violates” the country’s “One China” understanding with the US, was a “violation of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of China” and cross-strait reunification was a historic trend that could not be changed.

“China will take resolute and strong measures to defend its national sovereignty and territorial integrity,” Wang said. “The handful of US politicians who have been colluding with Taiwan independent separatist forces and attempting to challenge the One China principle, they are overestimating themselves and are doomed to fail.”

He urged Washington to stop interfering in the internal affairs of the mainland and warned that any attempt to challenge the one-China principle and split the island from the mainland would be crushed by Beijing.

Taiwan Affairs Office spokesman Ma Xiaoguang also accused the island’s ruling Democratic Progressive Party of repeatedly using “external force” to counter Beijing and of seeking independence for the island through support from the US. He warned the DPP against the attempts, saying they were the path to self-destruction.

Markey is chair of the East Asia, the Pacific and international cybersecurity policy subcommittee of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. His group arrived in Taipei on a US Air Force plane on Sunday evening. They made a low-profile entry, apparently to avoid triggering fresh ire from Beijing. It was only announced by the American Institute in Taiwan – the US representative office in Taipei or de facto US embassy in the absence of official ties – soon after they arrived at Taipei’s Songshan Airport.

The group was the first high-level US congressional delegation to visit Taiwan since Pelosi travelled to the island on August 2 for an unannounced visit that seriously angered Beijing and drew unprecedented military pressure from Beijing.

Beijing staged a series of massive war games encircling Taiwan for a week from August 4 in retaliation for Pelosi’s visit, labelling the trip “provocation”.

As the second in line to the US presidency, Pelosi became the highest ranking US politician to visit Taiwan in 25 years. Beijing saw the trip as a violation of its one-China principle and sovereignty, and sent missiles, warships and warplanes into the seas and air around the island.

In a closed-door meeting with the five-member American bipartisan congressional delegation on Monday, Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen thanked the lawmakers for their visit, seeing it as a sure sign of rock-solid support from the US in the face of growing threats from Beijing, according to Tsai’s office.

Tsai and the lawmakers discussed US-Taiwan relations, regional security, trade and investment, global supply chains, climate change and other significant issues of mutual interest, her office said. Tsai told the visiting US congressional delegation the island would work with Washington on security and supply chain issues.

“[We] hope to continue to deepen our cooperation with the US to jointly maintain prosperity and stability in the Indo-Pacific region and we also hope we can work with like-minded international friends to strengthen economic and investment relations in order to set up a safer supply chain,” she was quoted as saying. Tsai also criticised Beijing for staging a “long period” of military drills around Taiwan after Pelosi’s visit, saying it was a serious disruption of peace and stability in the region.

On Monday, Taiwanese Premier Su Tseng-chang also condemned Beijing for its repeated actions to bully the island and its visitors, saying Taipei had the right to host to any of its friends who came to visit.

“We extend our heartfelt appreciation to any countries and friends who care about us and offer their support to us,” Su said, adding Taiwan would in no way tolerate interference of the island’s affairs by its “evil neighbor”. The group ended their brief visit on Monday afternoon after meeting Foreign Minister Joseph Wu for lunch.

The AIT said the congressional delegation’s stop on the island was part of a larger visit to the Indo-Pacific region. “The delegation had an opportunity to exchange views with Taiwan counterparts on a wide range of issues of importance to both the United States and Taiwan,” it said.

Earlier on Monday, the US lawmakers held closed-door talks with eight Taiwanese lawmakers from the foreign relations and defence committee to discuss regional security issues. According to DPP legislator Lo Chih-cheng who led the Taiwanese lawmakers, the US visitors were also interested to know about their views on the US policy of cross-strait strategic ambiguity and whether it would be better for the US to shift to one of strategic clarity.

The policy is designed to leave Beijing guessing about the US’ response to an attack on the island by neither committing to nor ruling out military action. That way, Beijing might be more cautious in taking any action.

The administration of US President Joe Biden has remained committed to the policy despite repeated calls by some US congressmen and analysts for the US to be clearer.

Lo said they also discussed military exchanges and cooperation between the US and Taiwan, with the Taiwanese side calling for more military cooperation.

Asked if they talked about arms sales, Lo said no specific items were discussed during the meeting.

“[We] hope to continue to deepen our cooperation with the US to jointly maintain prosperity and stability in the Indo-Pacific region and we also hope we can work with like-minded international friends to strengthen economic and investment relations in order to set up a safer supply chain,” she was quoted as saying.

Tsai also criticised Beijing for staging a “long period” of military drills around Taiwan after Pelosi’s visit, saying it was a serious disruption of peace and stability in the region.

On Monday, Taiwanese Premier Su Tseng-chang also condemned Beijing for its repeated actions to bully the island and its visitors, saying Taipei had the right to host to any of its friends who came to visit.

“We extend our heartfelt appreciation to any countries and friends who care about us and offer their support to us,” Su said, adding Taiwan would in no way tolerate interference of the island’s affairs by its “evil neighbour”.

The group ended their brief visit on Monday afternoon after meeting Foreign Minister Joseph Wu for lunch.

The AIT said the congressional delegation’s stop on the island was part of a larger visit to the Indo-Pacific region.

“The delegation had an opportunity to exchange views with Taiwan counterparts on a wide range of issues of importance to both the United States and Taiwan,” it said.

Earlier on Monday, the US lawmakers held closed-door talks with eight Taiwanese lawmakers from the foreign relations and defence committee to discuss regional security issues.

According to DPP legislator Lo Chih-cheng who led the Taiwanese lawmakers, the US visitors were also interested to know about their views on the US policy of cross-strait strategic ambiguity and whether it would be better for the US to shift to one of strategic clarity.

The policy is designed to leave Beijing guessing about the US’ response to an attack on the island by neither committing to nor ruling out military action. That way, Beijing might be more cautious in taking any action.

The administration of US President Joe Biden has remained committed to the policy despite repeated calls by some US congressmen and analysts for the US to be clearer.

Lo said they also discussed military exchanges and cooperation between the US and Taiwan, with the Taiwanese side calling for more military cooperation.

Asked if they talked about arms sales, Lo said no specific items were discussed during the meeting.

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