Taiwan maintained a defiant tone in the face of threats from China, ready to launch military maneuvers near the island in retaliation for the visit of the Speaker of the US House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi.
Pelosi landed in Taiwan despite a series of threats from Beijing, who considers the island as part of his territory and denounced this visit as a provocation. China responded firmly and promised to act accordingly.
“This is a complete farce. The US violates China’s sovereignty under the guise of so-called ‘democracy’…those who offend China will be punished.”Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said on the sidelines of a meeting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in Phnom Penh.
But Taipei remained defiant before this threatening speech. Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen assured that “in the face of growing and deliberate military threats, Taiwan will not back down… We will maintain the line of defense of democracy.”
China tries to isolate Taiwan from the world and opposes all countries that maintain an official relationship with the island. Pelosi became the highest US authority to visit Taiwan in 25 years.
“Our delegation came to Taiwan to make it clear, unequivocally, that we will not abandon our commitment to Taiwan and that we are proud of our lasting friendship,” said Pelosi, 82, during a ceremony with the Taiwanese leader.
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On tuesday night, the Chinese Foreign Ministry summoned US Ambassador Nicholas Burns. Vice Foreign Minister Xie Feng told him of his country’s “steadfast protests” and told him that “Taiwan is the Taiwan of China”.
Live ammunition shots
For its part, the Chinese Ministry of Defense promised “selective military actions”, with a series of military maneuvers around the island that will begin on Thursday, including “the firing of long-range live ammunition” in the Taiwan Strait, which separates the island from mainland China.
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These maneuvers they are “a necessary and legitimate measure to respond to the serious provocations of some US politicians and Taiwanese independence supporters“, according to Chinese diplomacy.
At certain points, the Chinese area of operations will approach less than 20 kilometers from the coast of Taiwan, according to coordinates shared by the Chinese military.
The Taiwanese Ministry of Defense said that the exercises violate the territorial waters of the island.