World Pompeo dismisses China’s ‘actual combat exercises’ in Taiwan Strait as 'military blustering'
US holds its second high-profile visit to Taiwan in two months as Beijing escalates military pressure
A high-profile United States official is visiting Taiwan for the second time in two months, the latest sign of warming ties between Washington and Taipei, as Beijing escalates pressure on the self-governed island through a series of military drills and aircraft incursions. © PEI CHEN/AFP/POOL/AFP via Getty Images Keith Krach, US Undersecretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy and the Environment, alights from an aircraft after landing at the Songshan airport in Taipei on September 17.
China conducted "actual combat exercises" in the Taiwan Strait as a senior American diplomat visited Taipei, drawing a contemptuous response from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
“We sent the delegation to a funeral, and the Chinese have apparently responded by military blustering,” Pompeo told reporters while traveling in Guyana. “I’ll leave it at that.”
A contingent of 18 warplanes sallied into Taiwan’s air defense zone earlier Friday, including two bombers and 16 fighter jets, according to Taiwanese defense officials. That show of force was intended as a rebuke of Pompeo’s decision to send State Department Undersecretary Keith Krach to Taipei, where he is attending a memorial service for the late Taiwanese President Lee Teng-hui.
China begins military drills as senior U.S. official visits Taiwan amid rising tensions
China begins military drills as senior U.S. official visits Taiwan amid rising tensionsBEIJING/TAIPEI (Reuters) - China began combat drills near the Taiwan Strait on Friday, the same day a senior U.S. official began high-level meetings in Taipei, as tensions rose and Beijing denounced tightening ties between Chinese-claimed Taiwan and the United States.
"This is a legitimate and necessary action taken to safeguard China's sovereignty and territorial integrity in response to the current situation in the Taiwan Strait," Chinese defense ministry spokesman Ren Guoqiangreporters.
Krach is the second high-level American official to visit Taiwan in the last six weeks, following Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar’s recent coronavirus-related huddle in Taipei. “It's altogether unsurprising that the Chinese have chosen to react this way, but in the end, I mean, keeping Taiwan security is these high-level engagements,” said an official familiar with U.S.-Taiwan interactions who is not authorized to speak publicly.
The sorties are regarded as a political statement more than a sign of any impending military confrontation. “The biggest worry really is accidents,” the official said.
A lame-duck Pompeo could jump-start America’s strategic revival and his 2024 prospects
Mike Pompeo is among the most qualified secretaries of State to ever hold his position. He graduated first in his class from West Point and served subsequently in the 4th Infantry Division based in West Germany. He was a successful businessman, congressman, and director of Central Intelligence before finally moving over to Foggy Bottom. Unlike Hillary Clinton, whose supporters bragged about her qualifications, Pompeo had both military and private sector experience and did not owe his rise to his spouse. Pompeo represented the 4th congressional district in Kansas because he founded a business there and lived there for more than a decade before his turn to politics.
Taiwanese officials urged Beijing not to “heighten conflicts” between the two sides. "We hope the other side can exercise restraint and not ... heighten conflicts between the two sides,” Taiwan’s defense ministry said. “These military intimidations have caused resentment among the Taiwanese people.”
China claims sovereignty over Taiwan, the last bastion of the government overthrown during the communist revolution of 1949, but the mainland regime hasn't controlled the island in the decades since.
“Recently, the U.S. and the Democratic Progressive Party authorities have stepped up their relationship and frequently caused incidents,” the Chinese defense ministry spokesman said, referring to the political party of the Taiwanese ruling authorities. “No matter whether the aim is to counter China or raise the DPP’s status, it is wishful thinking and is destined to be a dead end.”
Taiwan military says it has right to counter attack amid China threats
Taiwan military says it has right to counter attack amid China threatsTensions have sharply spiked in recent months between Taipei and Beijing, which claims democratically run Taiwan as its own territory, to be taken by force if needed.
China is doubling down on its territorial claims: here's what you need to know .
Since taking power in 2012, Chinese President Xi Jinping has helped cement China's position as a global superpower -- and pushed forward an aggressive foreign policy, making bolder moves in several key flashpoints across Asia. © Brad Lendon/CNN The Chinese-controlled artificial island of Mischief Reef in the South China Sea, as seen by CNN from a US reconnaissance plane on August 10. From the South China Sea to the Himalayan Sino-Indian border, and even in one of its own cities, China has doubled down on its claims of territory, and taken a harder line in response to perceived challenges.