China using my Taiwan visit as excuse for drills: Pelosi
Speaking in Japan during the last leg of her Asia tour, US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said that China is using her visit to Taiwan as an "excuse" to conduct military drills near the island. The statement comes hours after the Chinese deployed scores of planes and live fire missiles in close proximity to Taiwan. The drills are scheduled to go on till Sunday.
- While Taiwan remains self-ruled, China claims the island as its own under the 'One China' policy.
- Standing in solidarity with Taiwan's "independence," the third highest-ranking US official Pelosi visited the island nation this week, leading to Chinese furor.
- The US's commitment under the Taiwan Relations Act to provide Taiwan with military support to defend itself is also viewed as an affront to China.
Addressing missile strikes by China near Taiwan, Speaker Pelosi said that they are using her visit as an "excuse" to conduct military drills. The 82-year-old also alleged that China has always tried to isolate Taiwan. "Our representation here isn't about changing the status quo in Asia. It is about Taiwan Relations Act, US-China policy...have peace in Taiwan Straits," she commented.
Japan | Our representation here isn't about changing status quo here in Asia,of Taiwan. It's about Taiwan Relations Act,US-China policy, all pieces of legislation agreements that established our relationship-have peace in Taiwan Straitshave status quo prevail: US House Speaker pic.twitter.com/h2d2KpM3uj— ANI (@ANI) August 5, 2022
China stepped up to show its military prowess only hours after Pelosi left the island nation. The People's Liberation Army (PLA) fired ballistic missiles and deployed fighter jets around Taiwan on Thursday in response to the "provocation" by the USA. The drills were conducted on smaller islands near Taiwan, in the Taiwan Strait, and even on lands just 20 km close to Taiwan.
The drills, scheduled to go on till Sunday, are an answer to "a reckless political maneuver & intrusion of China's sovereignty," says the Foreign Minister. "The PLA exercises are a powerful demonstration of One China," an editorial in the state-run mouthpiece Global Times said. Chinese military experts say the drills demonstrate PLA's capabilities to take over the island and defend it from external interference.
WATCH: PLA Eastern Theater Command Rocket Force launched conventional missiles to designated waters in the east of the island of Taiwan on Thu pic.twitter.com/WpFURLeN8X— Global Times (@globaltimesnews) August 4, 2022
China imposed severe sanctions on the import of fruits and seafood from Taiwan and halted sand supplies to the island on Wednesday following Pelosi's visit, which has sparked a diplomatic row among the countries. Notably, it's the first visit of any elected representative of the US to Taiwan in the last 25 years. China may also halt the shipment of natural sand to Taiwan.
The House Speaker met with Taiwanese President Ing-wen and called the meeting a "show of American solidarity." "We will not abandon our commitment to Taiwan," Pelosi assured, as Ing-wen stated, "(We will) continue to hold the line of defense for democracy." Speaking to Taiwan's legislators, Pelosi said, "We come in friendship to Taiwan, we come in peace to the region."