Matt Bush, FISM News
Taiwan says it detected multiple Chinese aircraft and naval vessels that appeared to be simulating an attack on its main island.
“Taiwan’s armed forces issued an alert, dispatched air, and naval patrols around the island, and activated land-based missile systems in response to the Chinese exercises,” the AP reported.
Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense said, “As of 5 p.m., 20 Chinese aircraft and 14 ships continued to carry out sea and air exercises around the Taiwan Strait.” The number of aircraft and ships detected has increased significantly since then, according to reports.
Some of Chinese aircraft and ships crossed the median line in the Taiwan Strait that separates the island from mainland China in what could have been interpreted by Taiwan as an act of war or invasion.
The military actions by China came as a result of U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s diplomatic trip to Taiwan this past Thursday. The California Democrat is the highest-ranking U.S. official to visit Taiwan in more than 25 years.
The Chinese Communist Party views Taiwan as its own territory, though China has never officially controlled the island. China, for years, has vowed to “reunify” the island to the mainland and has threatened to use force if needed.
Chinese-state-run Xinhua News Agency published a commentary that claimed Pelosi had staged a “political stunt” out of her own self-interest, according to Reuters.
“Insisting on going to the island, [Pelosi] apparently does not care about harming China-U.S. ties, or putting peace across the Taiwan Strait on the line,” Xinhua News Agency stated. The commentary went on to skewer Pelosi:
It is certainly not that Pelosi was not clearly aware of the fallout ahead. She just wanted to make global headlines. She has no regard for Washington’s promises or due responsibilities in global affairs.
Pelosi has been a long-time critic of China. She ignored warnings from China of the political ramifications that would come from a diplomatic trip to the island.
At a news conference, Pelosi said that her trip to Taiwan was not about changing the status quo in the region. Rather, the purpose was to show the United States’ unwavering commitment to Taiwan’s democracy, she said.
China announced on Monday that it would be extending its military drills in the Taiwan Strait. According to Fox News, those drills will include, “anti-submarine drills, which appear to target U.S. support for Taiwan.”
Both sides have shown that they are not willing to back down.
China dismissed calls to ease the tension in the Taiwan Strait and refused to put an end date to their military drills in the area.
Taiwan responded by “conducting live-fire artillery drills in southern Pingtung County on Tuesday and Thursday” and will continue with drills featuring snipers, combat vehicles, and even attack helicopters.
Check back with FISM News for more updates as the situation develops.