The Chinese military conducted live-fire drills Saturday off the coast facing Taiwan amid reports that US Speaker Nancy Pelosi was en route to the area.
The trash can situation comes as China says it could shoot down Pelosi’s plane if she tries to land on the disputed democratic island, which Beijing claims as part of its territory.
Pelosi is said to have departed late on Friday for her upcoming tour of Asia, which may or may not include a visit to Taiwan, which Beijing warned the US would ‘bear all the consequences’. .
The spokesman has so far declined to confirm the halt, but if it continues, it could lead to the biggest crisis in the Taiwan Strait in nearly 40 years.
Beijing has reacted furiously to a future visit by the third in the US government to Taiwan. Chinese leader Xi Jinping on Thursday warned President Joe Biden that ‘those who play with fire will be killed by it.’
“It is hoped that the United States will be clear on this.”
Xinhua News Agency reported that the People’s Liberation Army was conducting “live-fire drills” near the Pingtan Islands off the coast of Fujian province. The Maritime Safety Administration warned ships to avoid the area.
US speaker Nancy Pelosi is reportedly on her way to the Asia-Pacifc region to kick off Japan, Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia in August amid China’s threats to shoot her down if she visits the island of Taiwan. Loan
Two ships identified as a Chinese Type 052D destroyer and a Type 054A frigate were sighted 27 km and 23 km respectively from the Taiwan Strait. Both are armed with surface-to-air missiles (file image)
According to Chinese state media, Mr. Xi warned Biden during the call: ‘Those who play with fire will only get burned. Hope the US side can see this clearly’
President Joe Biden posted an image on Twitter of himself from a two-hour call Thursday morning with Chinese President Xi Jinping – the fifth between the two since Mr. Biden took office.
Such drills often involve artillery. The one-sentence announcement did not indicate whether Saturday’s drills might also include missiles, fighter jets or other weapons.
Two other ships – identified by Vietnamese maritime observer Duan Dang as China’s Type 052D destroyer and Type 054A destroyer – were sighted 27 km and 23 km respectively from the Taiwan Strait. Both are armed with surface-to-air missiles.
Meanwhile, the Chinese navy is exercising off its southern coast near Guangdong, following drills in nearby Hainan province.
It was all seen as a show of force to dissuade Pelosi from visiting the island. As leader of the equal legislative branch of the US government, Joe Biden has no authority to order her to waive the visit.
Biden last week said the Pentagon thought a trip to Taiwan ‘wasn’t a good idea.’
“Well, I think the military thinks that’s not a good idea right now,” Biden said in response to a question about Pelosi’s reported trip. ‘But I don’t know what its condition is.’
China stepped up its rhetoric as the crisis reached a boiling point, with China’s state-owned Global Times exclaiming: ‘Don’t say we didn’t warn you!’
It’s a phrase China seems to have used before fighting both India in 1962 and Vietnam in 1979.
And a commentator with the mouthpiece of the Global Times in Beijing, Hu Xijn, called the US fighter jet escorting Pelosi’s plane into Taiwan an ‘invasion’.
‘The PLA has the right to forcibly force Pelosi’s aircraft and US warplanes, including warning shots and implementing obstruction maneuvers. If it doesn’t work, shoot them down,’ he wrote on Twitter.
The visit, which a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee appears to have confirmed will proceed, will be the first by a senior US elected official in 25 years.
Pictured: Taiwan’s navy launches a US-made Standard missile from a frigate during the annual Han Kuang exercise, in the waters near Suao naval port in Yilan county on July 2
China says Taiwan has no right to conduct foreign relations. It sees visits by American officials as an incentive for the island to become its decades-old de facto independent officer.
The PLA has sent more and more fighter jets and bombers closer to Taiwan and has in the past fired missiles at shipping routes to the island.
In a phone call on Thursday between the leaders of the two superpowers, the Chinese premier said he firmly opposes Taiwan’s independence and the interference of outside forces.
Biden expressed the US position on this issue unchanged, according to information from the meeting.
‘Regarding Taiwan, President Biden emphasized that U.S. policy has not changed, and that the United States strongly opposes unilateral efforts to change the status quo or undermine peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait, ‘ ‘reading version.
Wu Xinbo, director of the Center for American Studies at Fudan University in Shanghai, told the Financial Times: “If she goes, there will definitely be a Taiwan Strait crisis, and it will certainly exceed it. the most recent crisis was in 1995-1996.
That’s because China’s military capabilities have far surpassed those of 26 years ago. ‘
Even so, most analysts believe that China will want to avoid an overt military conflict with the United States, whose military bases are scattered around the region and the USS Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier strike group in the region. East Sea.
Despite this caution, the PLA has moved more and more fighter jets and bombers closer to Taiwan and has in the past fired missiles at shipping routes to the island.
Taiwan and China split in 1949 after a civil war ended with communist victory over the mainland.
The two governments say they are one country but disagree on national leadership. They have no official relationship but are linked by trade and investment of billions of dollars.