After several Chinese warships and aircraft crossed the Taiwan Strait’s median line during U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taipei, which incensed Beijing, Taiwan claimed on Saturday that China’s military exercises appear to simulate an attack on the autonomous island.
In reaction to the Chinese drills, Taiwan’s armed forces sent out a warning, sent out air and naval patrols surrounding the island, and turned on land-based missile systems, according to a tweet from Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense.
Following Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan earlier this week, China began conducting live-fire military drills, claiming that this was a violation of the “one-China” policy. Visits to Taiwan by foreign dignitaries are seen as recognition of Taiwan’s sovereignty by China, which views the island as a breakaway province that can be incorporated by force if required.
According to Taiwan’s Central News Agency, the Taiwanese army claimed to have spotted four unmanned aerial vehicles flying close to the offshore county of Kinmen on Friday night.
According to Taiwan’s Kinmen Defense Command, the four drones—which Taiwan assumed to be Chinese—were seen flying over the waters around the Lieyu Island and Beiding islet as well as the Kinmen island group.
The military of Taiwan responded by launching warning flares.
In the Taiwan Strait, which separates the two sides that separated amid civil war in 1949, the Kinmen group of islands, also known as Quemoy, is located just 10 kilometres (6.2 miles) east of the Chinese coastal city of Xiamen in the Fujian province.
Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen tweeted that “our administration and military are actively monitoring China’s military drills & information warfare operations, ready to respond as necessary.”
She continued, “I urge the international community to support Taiwan’s democratic government and prevent any worsening of the security situation in the region.
Chinese military drills started on Thursday and are scheduled to continue through Sunday. In an echo of the most recent significant Chinese military exercises in 1995 and 1996 intended to intimidate Taiwan’s leaders and people, the drills have so far involved missile strikes on targets in the seas north and south of the island.
Taiwan has activated its troops and held public defence drills, and the United States has stationed a large number of naval assets nearby.
The “one-China” policy, which acknowledges Beijing as the government of China but permits informal relations and defence links with Taipei, is still a priority for the United States, according to Pelosi and the Biden administration. Pelosi’s visit was discouraged but not prevented by the government.
In retaliation for the visit, China has also halted defence negotiations with the United States and sanctioned Pelosi.
Pelosi stated on Friday in Tokyo, her final stop on her Asia tour, that China cannot isolate Taiwan by forbidding American officials from visiting.
Longtime supporter of human rights in China, Pelosi. She went to Tiananmen Square in Beijing in 1991, two years after a violent military crackdown on demonstrators at the square , to defend democracy alongside other legislators.