People’s Liberation Army China on Thursday, August 4, began the previously announced air and sea military exercises in the Taiwan area in response to a visit to this island by Speaker of the US House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi. The maneuvers are held until August 7, and target shooting is planned as part of them. In particular, long-range firing with pinpoint strikes was carried out at specific areas in the eastern part of the Taiwan Strait, the command of the Eastern Military Region said.
Taiwan stepped up combat readiness
In turn, representatives of the Taiwan administration said that the military is stepping up its combat readiness and will properly respond to the situation in the Taiwan Strait. Thus, missile systems are deployed in Taiwan to track the actions of the Chinese air force, and Taiwanese warships are monitoring the actions of the Chinese Navy, Reuters reports. Earlier, the Taiwanese administration did not rule out Chinese military invasion on the territory of the island republic, defending the status of an independent state, but considered the official Beijing as one of the Chinese provinces.
ASEAN called for restraint
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) warned that tensions in the Taiwan Strait could lead to “open conflicts between major powers and unpredictable consequences.” “ASEAN stands ready to play a constructive role in promoting peaceful dialogue among all parties,” the association said in a statement, calling on the parties to exercise maximum restraint and refrain from provocative actions.
EU diplomat chief Borrell condemned China’s maneuvers
EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell condemned China’s plans to conduct military exercises around Taiwan. “There is no reason to use the visit (Nancy Pelosi. – Ed.) as a pretext for aggressive military action in the Taiwan Strait. For the legislators of our countries, making international trips is a matter of routine,” the head of EU diplomacy wrote on Twitter.
Nancy Pelosi in Taiwan
Tensions between the authorities in mainland China and Taiwan have risen in recent days due to visit to the island by the Speaker of the US House of Representatives. Nancy Pelosi arrived in Taiwan on the evening of August 2 as part of an Asian tour and left on August 3.
Pelosi, who assured Taiwan of Washington’s broad support during the visit, became the first speaker of the United States House of Representatives to visit Taiwan in 25 years. The Chinese authorities, who consider Taiwan its territory, were sharply criticized even before its arrival on the island.