Middle East

China conducts new exercises around Taiwan as US lawmakers visit Taiwan

Beijing: China held new military exercises around Taiwan on Monday as a delegation of visiting U.S. lawmakers was due to meet the island’s leader, weeks after a similar visit by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi heightened fears of conflict. announced that it was organized

The two-day unannounced trip came after Beijing launched warships, missiles and jets into the waters and skies around Taiwan.

A five-member congressional delegation, led by Senator Ed Markey of Massachusetts, was scheduled to meet with President Tsai Ing-wen on Monday, followed by a banquet at the Foreign Ministry.

Their visit will focus on trade, regional security and climate change, said Washington’s de facto embassy in Taipei.

The bipartisan visit provoked a stinging response from Beijing, which said it conducted “combat readiness patrols and combat exercises in the waters and airspace around the island of Taiwan” on Monday.

“This is a solemn deterrent to the continued political maneuvering of the United States and Taiwan to undermine peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait,” Shi Yi, spokesman for the Chinese military’s Eastern Theater Command, said in a statement. promised to “resolutely defend”. national sovereignty”.

Taiwan’s government has accused Beijing of using Pelosi’s visit to launch drills that would allow it to rehearse an invasion.

The Chinese Communist Party has never ruled Taiwan, but says it will use force if necessary to take it.

– “Red Line” –

This decades-old threat was echoed in a white paper released last week, in which China’s Taiwan bureau said it would “not renounce the use of force” against its neighbor and reserved “the option to take all necessary measures.”

But “it is only when they cross our red line that we will be compelled to take drastic measures to respond to the provocations of separatists and external forces.”

Taipei has been defiant throughout its standoff with Beijing, and a ruling party lawmaker told AFP this week’s parliamentary visit proved the island was not frightened by China’s threat.

“Their visit once again shows that China cannot tell or direct politicians from other countries not to visit Taiwan,” said Lo, a lawmaker from the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP). Chichen said.

“At the same time, it also shows and sends an important message that the American people support Taiwan.”

Pelosi supported her visit, but President Joe Biden said the U.S. military opposed the visit by his fellow Democrats, who are second in the presidential race to the vice president.

Congress is a constitutionally equal governmental body in the United States, with lawmakers free to move where they please, and Taiwan enjoys bipartisan support in a divided Washington.

In 1979, the United States switched diplomatic relations from Taipei to Beijing.

However, China remains an important ally of Taiwan and maintains de facto diplomatic relations with Taipei.

Washington’s official policy is against Taiwan’s declaring independence and China’s forcible change of Taiwan’s status.

It remains intentionally vague as to whether it will support Taiwan militarily if China invades.

US officials have been visiting Taiwan for decades, and even Mr Pelosi’s visit was not unprecedented – then-Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich visited in 1997.

But the frequency and prominence of U.S. visits has increased under both former President Donald Trump and former President Biden.

Taiwan has also seen visits by delegations from Europe and other Western allies in recent years, partly in response to Beijing’s more aggressive stance under Chinese President Xi Jinping.

https://www.kuwaittimes.com/china-conducts-fresh-drills-around-taiwan-as-us-lawmakers-visit/ China conducts new exercises around Taiwan as US lawmakers visit Taiwan

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