In response to verbal threats and military maneuvers from the People’s Republic of China, Taiwan’s military has increased its combat readiness. As the CNA news agency further reported, the order applies until Thursday noon. The two-stage alarm system is not yet a classification for the “emergency”, but rather a “normal operational readiness”, it said in the capital Taipei.
Beijing’s foreign ministry with new threats
The Chinese leadership has again threatened the United States with consequences if top politician Nancy Pelosi visits Taiwan. “The US side will take responsibility and pay the price for undermining China’s sovereign security interests,” Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told reporters in Beijing.
The White House in Washington warned Beijing of an escalation. “There is no reason for Beijing to turn a possible visit, consistent with long-standing US policy, into a crisis or conflict,” said Security Council communications director John Kirby. The US would not engage in “saber rattling.” “At the same time, we don’t let ourselves be intimidated.”
Nancy Pelosi at a press conference at the U.S. Capitol in Washington on Friday
A visit by the Speakers of the US House of Representatives to Taipei would be the highest in the US in decades. Pelosi is the third most senior representative of the United States, after US President Joe Biden and his deputy, Kamala Harris.
Russia is also involved
And the Russian government also took a clear position in the case. The Kremlin accused the US of global destabilization. “Washington is destabilizing the world. Not a single conflict has been settled in recent decades, but several have been provoked,” Moscow Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova wrote in the online service Telegram.
In the past few days, the Chinese had warned Taiwan and the United States against a visit by the top US politician. The leadership in Beijing sees Taiwan as a breakaway province that should be reunited with the mainland – if necessary with military force. China believes a visit to the island republic would send a signal of hope to Taiwan’s pro-independence supporters. The US government has not recognized Taiwan as an independent state, but supports the government there.
Hours before the possible visit, tensions have increased again. Chinese military planes and warships have been sighted near the democratic island republic. In the directly opposite Chinese province of Fujian, the airline Xiamen Airlines surprisingly announced the postponement of 30 flights at the instruction of flight control. Northeast of the southern Chinese island of Hainan, a sea area has been closed for planned military exercises.
Pelosi flew to Malaysia from Singapore this Tuesday. Your machine landed at the Subang Air Force Base near the capital Kuala Lumpur, as reported by the state news agency Bernama.
Nancy Pelosi with Malaysian Parliament Speaker Azhar Azizan Harun in Kuala Lumpur
The 82-year-old also wanted to meet Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yakoob. Japan and South Korea are other stops that have been announced for her trip to Asia. Taiwan is not mentioned in their official program. However, the US Democrat has been planning to visit the island state for some time in order to take a stand against the threats from China.
Separately, security has been tightened around the Grand Hyatt hotel in Taipei where Pelosi may be staying overnight.
se/sti (dpa, rtr, afp, ap)