On Monday, China said it was expanding the threat of military exercises around Taiwan that have disrupted maritime and air traffic and significantly raised concerns about the possibility conflict in a region vital to global trade.
The drills will include anti-submarine exercises, apparently aimed at US support for Taiwan in the event of a possible Chinese invasion, according to social media posts from eastern leader of China’s ruling Communist Party army, the People’s Liberation Army.
The military said drills involving missile strikes, fighter jets and moving ships across the midline of the Taiwan Strait bisecting the two sides were a response to President Xia’s visit. US House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi visited the self-governing island last week.
China has ignored calls to de-escalate tensions and shows no immediate indication of when it will end what led to the blockade.
Taiwan’s Defense Ministry on Sunday said it had detected a total of 66 aircraft and 14 warships conducting naval and air force drills. The island has responded by putting the military on alert and deploying ships, planes and other assets to monitor Chinese planes, ships and drones that are “simulating attacks.” attack on the island of Taiwan and our ships at sea.”
Biden expressed concern
Meanwhile, Taiwan’s official Central News Agency reported that Taiwan’s military will conduct live-fire drills in southern Pingtung County on Tuesday and Thursday, in response to Taiwan’s military drills. China.
The drills will include snipers, combat vehicles and armored vehicles, as well as attack helicopters, the report cited an unnamed source.
The Biden and Pelosi administrations say the US remains committed to the “one China” policy, extending formal diplomatic recognition to Beijing while allowing for informal ties and defense ties. with Taipei.
However, the US has criticized Beijing’s actions in the Taiwan Strait.
“I’m concerned that they’re moving as much as they are,” Biden said of China’s actions on Monday when he spoke to reporters. “But I don’t think they’ll do anything more than them.”
China responds to criticism
China claims Taiwan as its own territory and threatens to annex it by force if necessary. The two sides split in 1949 after a civil war, but Beijing views visits to Taiwan by foreign officials as a recognition of the country’s sovereignty.
Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen has called on the international community to “support democratic Taiwan” and “prevent any escalation of the regional security situation.” The Group of Seven industrialized nations also criticized China’s actions, prompting Beijing to cancel a meeting between Foreign Minister Wang Yi and his Japanese counterpart, Yoshimasa Hayashi.
China has severed defense and climate talks with the US and imposed sanctions on Ms. Pelosi in retaliation for her visit.
In Washington, Taiwan’s de facto ambassador Bi-khim Hsiao said China had no reason to be “too angry” over Pelosi’s visit, following a long tradition of US lawmakers visiting Taiwan. Loan.
“Well, you know, we’ve lived under the threat from China for decades,” Hsiao told CBS News Sunday. “If you have a child who is bullied at school, you don’t say you don’t go to school. You try to figure out how to deal with the bully.
“The risks posed by Beijing,” Hsiao said.
During a visit to Myanmar, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said Washington is “taking advantage of the opportunity to strengthen its military deployment in the region, which deserves high vigilance and a resolute boycott from all sides.” .”
“China’s steadfast stance” is to “seriously safeguard peace across the Taiwan Strait and regional stability,” Wang was quoted as saying by Xinhua News Agency.
Meanwhile, Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong called for a de-escalation of tensions.
“Australia continues to urge restraint, Australia continues to urge de-escalation. And this is not just what Australia is calling for… the whole region is concerned about the current situation, the whole region is calling for a recovery. stable,” Wong told reporters in Canberra.