The Chinese Army has responded to Nancy Pelosi's visit to Taiwan with live-fire military maneuvers 20 kilometers off the coast. Taiwan's defense minister likens this decision to a "maritime and air blockade" of the island. The Chinese authorities have delimited operations in six areas surrounding the island.
Chinese General Meng Xiangqing, in a statement made to Chinese television, and collected by The Wall Street Journalsays that the operation "establishes an encirclement of the island of Taiwan"The "good conditions for rethinking the strategic situation in a way that favors reunification," as Taiwan's annexation is officially called, were established.
The shows of force come closer to Taiwanese territory than ever before. Chinese drills have forced 900 flights on 18 international air routes to change their route.
Experts fear that China will not stop here, and will escalate its threat to Taiwanese democracy with new moves. One of them would be to send live fire over the island, to make it hit the sea on the east coast. For its part, the Ministry of National Defense maintains "the principle of preparing for war without seeking war, with the attitude of not escalating the conflict or causing disputes," it said in a statement.
China's threats to Taiwan come after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi made a visit to the island to reaffirm China's"unwavering commitment to support Taiwan's vibrant democracy." Pelosi has made her position public both in a statement and on her Twitter account.
Our delegation's visit to Taiwan honors America's unwavering commitment to supporting Taiwan's vibrant Democracy.
Our discussions with Taiwan leadership reaffirm our support for our partner & promote our shared interests, including advancing a free & open Indo-Pacific region.
- Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) August 2, 2022
Nancy Pelosi's trip to Taiwan did not have the full support of President Joe Biden. In fact, a month ago he stated that "the Army feels it is not a good idea" to make the trip now. The truth is that it comes at a time of great tension. Russia's invasion of Ukraine, and the not entirely forceful response by the international community, has raised fears that China could take advantage of the situation and invade Taiwan.
The European Union has condemned China's threatening military maneuvers off Taiwan. The European Union's High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy, José Borrell, has expressed his disagreement with China "using a visit as a pretext for aggressive military activity" in Taiwan.
There is no justification to use a visit as pretext for aggressive military activity in the Taiwan Strait. It is normal and routine for legislators from our countries to travel internationally.
We encourage all parties to remain calm, exercise restraint, act with transparency. https://t.co/b760G8L0J4
- Josep Borrell Fontelles (@JosepBorrellF) August 4, 2022