Led by Senator Ed Markey of Massachusetts, a new U.S. Delegation has arrived in Taiwan to reaffirm its support for the island nation. Once again, the visit has increased tensions with neighboring China. The neighboring country has now begun conducting combat alert patrols and military drills in the waters and airspace around Taiwan. Will the Chinese go further than simple drills this time around?
Associated Press; August 15, 2022
China announced more military drills around Taiwan as the island’s president met with members of a new U.S. congressional delegationon Monday, in a further sign of support among American lawmakers for the self-governing island Beijing claims as its own.
Taiwanese media showed the delegation arriving for the talks, but details of the meeting were not immediately released. The delegation was due to depart later Monday on a U.S. government plane.
The visit came less than two weeks after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s trip to Taiwan, which prompted days of threatening military exercises by China, including the firing of missiles over the island and into the Taiwan Strait. Pelosi is the highest-level member of the U.S. government to visit Taiwan in 25 years.
China also sent warplanes and navy ships across the waterway’s median, which has long been a buffer between the sides that separated amid civil war in 1949. China regards formal contacts between U.S. politicians and the island’s government as support for its independence from Beijing.
Additional drills in the seas and skies surrounding Taiwan were announced by China’s People’s Liberation Army on Monday, the Defense Ministry and its Eastern Theater Command announced in a statement.
The exercises are intended as a “resolute response and solemn deterrent against collusion and provocation between the U.S. and Taiwan,” the ministry said.
China’s previous two weeks of threatening exercises prompted Taiwan to put its military on alert, but were met largely with defiance and apathy among the public.
In Taipei, Taiwan’s capital, the chair of the legislature’s Foreign and National Defense Committee, Lo, Chih-Cheng, met with the U.S. lawmakers and stated that, “Their visit at this time is of great significance, because the Chinese military exercise is (intended) to deter U.S. congressmen from visiting Taiwan.”
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