TAIWAN: US Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s Taiwan visit triggered sharp responses from China as it deployed military drills around the Taiwan Strait to send a clear message of retaliation. The United States has condemned China’s move and called it a “provocative” and “irresponsible” action that opposes the long-standing goal of maintaining international peace and security across the Taiwan Strait and the neighboring region.
At 9.35 am (IST), TOI updated its news bulletin on the looming crisis and reported that Taiwan had announced it would prepare itself for combat but would not ask for war. This is a clear message of combat readiness on Taiwan’s part, which does not explicitly call for war but maintains its stance as a free, democratic country armed with the military to protect its borders and sovereignty.
Updated at 10.30 am (IST), Taipei declared that Chinese fighter jets and naval vessels crossed the “median line” that runs down the Taiwan Strait on Friday, calling it “highly provocative”. Taiwan’s Defense Ministry said: “Multiple batches of Chinese warplanes and warships conducted exercises around the Taiwan Strait and crossed the Median line.”
Japanese forces bore witness to these military drills and allege that 4 Chinese missiles flew over “Taiwan’s main island”. On Thursday, Japanese Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi urged an “immediate stop” to these Chinese drills. Hayashi told reporters in Phnom Pehn, where Nancy Pelosi was greeted during her visit and said, “China’s actions this time have a serious impact on the peace and stability of the region and the international community. I once again demand the immediate stop of these military exercises.”
The international community is in dire straits as it tries to prevent any further provocation on both sides of the divide. In case any war-like rebellion breaks out, it has the power to bring the entire world to its knees.
Also Read: China and Taiwan Relations: A History Marred by War, Identity and Territorial Politics