The foreign minister of Taiwan claimed on Tuesday that PLA was using the military drills it started as a show of force against Nancy Pelosi’s visit as part of a strategy to invade the autonomous island.
Without giving a timeline for a potential invasion of Taiwan, which China claims as its own, Joseph Wu declared that Taiwan would not be intimidated despite the drills continuing and China frequently crossing the unofficial median line down the Taiwan Strait.
Wu stated at a news conference in Taipei that “China is using the military drill to train its forces for the invasion of Taiwan. In an effort to lower public morale in Taiwan, it is carrying out massive military drills, launching missiles, and engaging in cyberattacks, disinformation campaigns, and economic coercion.”
After the drills are over, China “may try to regularize its activity in an attempt to disrupt the long-term status quo across the Taiwan Strait.”
Wu requested increased international support to prevent China from effectively dominating the strait, saying that such actions endangered regional security and gave “a clear image of China’s geostrategic intentions beyond Taiwan.”
In response to Wu’s remarks, China’s Taiwan Affairs Office stated that Wu was a “diehard” proponent of Taiwan independence and that his statements “distort the truth and conceal the facts.”
According to a statement by a Pentagon official on Monday, Washington was standing by its prediction that China will not attempt to invade Taiwan in the next two years.
Wu spoke as military tensions remained high following the conclusion of four days of the biggest Chinese exercises ever conducted near the island, the drill included ballistic missile launches and sea and air raids in the skies and waters surrounding Taiwan.
On Tuesday, Pelosi stated that her trip to Taiwan was “completely” worthwhile and criticized Beijing.
She told NBC News in an interview, “We cannot allow the Chinese government to isolate Taiwan. She claimed that although China had succeeded in having Taiwan removed from the World Health Organization, “they’re not going to say who can go to Taiwan.”
She said that President Joe Biden’s order for the US to concentrate on the Asia-Pacific region, which was followed by her visit, had received strong support in the US Congress.
The Eastern Theatre Command of China announced on Monday that it would hold new cooperative exercises with an emphasis on anti-submarine and sea assault operations, assuaging some security analysts’ and diplomats’ concerns that Beijing would continue to put pressure on Taiwan’s defenses.
According to a source acquainted with security preparations in the areas surrounding Taiwan, approximately 10 warships from China and Taiwan are still engaged in a standoff along the median line.
The individual told Reuters that “China kept trying to press into the median line. Taiwan soldiers there have been attempting to maintain the openness of the international waterways.”
The Taiwanese Defense Ministry stated on Tuesday that China’s ongoing military drills “show that its threat of force has not reduced.”
China cut off some channels of communication with the United States last Friday as Pelosi left the region, including talks about climate change and military theater-level operations.
On Tuesday, Taiwan began its own long-planned drills by launching howitzer artillery into the ocean in the southern county of Pingtung, drawing a small gathering of curious bystanders to a nearby beach.
In his first public remarks on the subject since Pelosi’s visit, Biden said on Monday that while he was concerned about PLA’s actions but was not concerned about Taiwan.
According to Colin Kahl, Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, American military operations over the Taiwan Strait will continue in the coming weeks.
Chinese Foreign Ministry also said on Monday that China was conducting routine military drills “in our waters” in an open, transparent, and professional manner and reiterated that Taiwan was a part of China. China has never ruled out annexing Taiwan by force.
Read More: https://www.reuters.com/world/asia-pacific/no-change-us-assessment-china-timeline-taiwan-despite-pelosi-visit-official-says-2022-08-08/