April 19, 2024

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Angry China conducts more exercises near Taiwan as US lawmakers visit

Angry China conducts more exercises near Taiwan as US lawmakers visit

  • China conducts exercises near Taiwan while US lawmakers visit
  • China displays images of the strategic Pinggu Islands in Taiwan
  • Taiwan president: Committed to maintaining stability

BEIJING/TAIBIE (Reuters) – The Chinese military said it held more exercises near Taiwan on Monday as a group of US lawmakers visited the Chinese-claimed island and met President Tsai Ing-wen, who said her government is committed to preserving the island. More.

The five US lawmakers, led by Senator Ed Markey, arrived in Taipei for an unannounced visit late Sunday, the second high-level group to visit after that of US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in early August, which set off several days of the visit. Chinese war games.

The Chinese military unit in charge of the area bordering Taiwan, the Eastern Theater Command of the People’s Liberation Army, said it organized joint multi-service combat readiness patrols and combat exercises in the sea and airspace around Taiwan on Monday.

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The statement added that the exercises were “a firm deterrent to the continued use of political tricks by the United States and Taiwan and to undermine peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait.”

China’s Defense Ministry said in a separate statement that the lawmakers’ trip violated China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and “fully reveals the true face of the United States as a spoiler and spoiler of peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait.”

“The Chinese People’s Liberation Army continues to train and prepare for war, resolutely defend national sovereignty and territorial integrity, and will resolutely crush any form of ‘Taiwan independence’ separatism and foreign interference.”

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The field command said the exercises took place near Taiwan’s Pinggu islands located in the Taiwan Strait and home to a major air base, and showed a close-up video of the islands taken by a Chinese Air Force plane.

Tsai, who met the lawmakers in her office, said the Chinese exercises have greatly affected peace and stability in the region.

“We are engaged in close cooperation with international allies to closely monitor the military situation. At the same time, we are doing our best to let the world know that Taiwan is determined to safeguard the stability and status quo in the Taiwan Strait,” she said. He said, in a video clip provided by the Office of the Presidency.

Marki told Tsai that “we have a moral obligation” to do everything to prevent unnecessary conflict.

“Taiwan has shown restraint and caution during difficult times,” he added.

Taiwan’s Defense Ministry said 15 Chinese planes crossed the center line of the Taiwan Strait on Monday, an unofficial barrier between the two sides, adding that it condemned China’s new exercises and would “calmly” confront them.

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Pelosi’s visit infuriated China, which responded by launching ballistic missile tests over Taipei for the first time, and abandoned some lines of dialogue with Washington, including theatrical military talks and on climate change.

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However, this trip was less significant than that of Pelosi, as Tsai’s meeting with lawmakers was not broadcast live on her social media pages, a common practice when high-ranking foreign guests come.

The group left Taiwan in the late afternoon of Monday, and only after that the presidential office released footage of the meeting with Tsai.

It was not immediately clear where they were going.

The de facto US embassy in Taipei said it also met with Foreign Minister Joseph Wu and members of the Taiwan Parliament’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee.

“A totalitarian China cannot dictate how democratic Taiwan makes friends,” Wu said on Twitter of their meeting.

The United States and Taiwan do not have formal diplomatic relations but are obligated by law to provide the democratically governed island with the means to defend itself.

China has never ruled out the use of force to bring Taiwan under its control. Taiwan’s government says that the People’s Republic of China has never ruled the island and therefore has no right to claim it, and that only its 23 million residents can decide their future.

Taiwan Prime Minister Su Tsing-chang said that China’s response to such visits by foreign friends will not deter them.

“We cannot do anything because there is an evil neighbor next door and we do not dare to allow visitors or friends to come,” he told reporters.

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Additional reporting by Ryan Wu and Ben Blanchard in Taipei; Editing by Himani Sarkar, Robert Percell and Raisa Kasulowski

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