An angry China is conducting more exercises near Taiwan after visiting US lawmakers

  • China holds drills near Taiwan as US lawmakers visit
  • China shows pictures of Taiwan’s strategic Penghu Islands
  • Taiwan President: Committed to Maintaining Stability

BEIJING/TAIPEI, Aug 15 (Reuters) – China’s military said it carried out additional exercises near Taiwan on Monday after a delegation of U.S. lawmakers visited the Chinese-claimed island to meet with President Tsai Ing-wen. Stability.

Five US lawmakers, led by Senator Ed Markey, arrived in Taipei on an unannounced visit late Sunday, the second high-level delegation to visit in early August following US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s departure for several days. Chinese war games.

The People’s Liberation Army’s Eastern Theater Command, the Chinese military unit responsible for the region adjacent to Taiwan, said on Monday it organized multi-service joint combat readiness patrols and combat exercises in the sea and airspace around Taiwan.

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It added that the exercises were “a serious obstacle to the US and Taiwan continuing to play political tricks and undermine peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait”.

China’s defense ministry said in a separate statement that the lawmakers’ visit violated China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and “fully exposed the true face of the United States, which undermines 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 resolutely crush any form of ‘Taiwan independence’ separatism and foreign interference.”

The theater command said the exercises took place near Taiwan’s Penghu Islands, which are in the Taiwan Strait and home to a major air base, and showed close-up video of the islands taken by Chinese air force aircraft.

Tsai, who met with lawmakers in her office, said China’s exercises have greatly affected regional peace and stability.

“We are closely cooperating 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 committed to maintaining stability and the status quo in the Taiwan Strait,” he said. It is stated in the video footage provided by the President’s office.

“We have a moral obligation” to do everything to prevent unnecessary conflict, Margie told Chai.

“Taiwan has shown incredible restraint and prudence in challenging times,” he added.

Taiwan’s defense ministry said on Monday it had crossed the demarcation line of the Taiwan Strait, an unofficial barrier between the two, saying it condemned China’s new exercises and would face them “peacefully”.

Low key

Pelosi’s visit angered China, which responded with a first-ever test launch of ballistic missiles over Taipei and abandoned some dialogue with Washington, including theater military talks and climate change.

However, the trip was far less important than Pelosi’s, as Chai’s meeting with lawmakers was not livestreamed on her social media pages, as is common practice with high-profile foreign guests.

The team left Taiwan on Monday afternoon, only after the president’s office released footage of the meeting with Tsai.

It was not immediately clear where they were headed.

The de facto US embassy in Taipei said they also met with Foreign Minister Joseph Wu and members of Taiwan’s parliament’s Foreign Affairs and Security Committee.

“Authoritarian China cannot dictate how Taiwan makes friends democratically,” Wu said on Twitter.

The United States does not have formal diplomatic relations with Taiwan, but is bound by law to provide the democratically-ruled island with the means to defend itself.

China has never ruled out using force to bring Taiwan under its control. Taiwan’s government says 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 people can decide their own future.

Taiwan’s Prime Minister Su Cheng-chang said he would not be deterred by China’s retaliation against such visits by foreign friends.

“We can’t do anything because we have an evil neighbor next door and don’t have the guts to let visitors or friends in,” he told reporters.

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Reporting by Ryan Wu and Ben Blanchard in Taipei; Editing by Himani Sarkar, Robert Birzel and Raisa Kasolowski

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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