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World Taiwan holds drills amid Pelosi visit concern, China tension

12:01  25 july  2022
12:01  25 july  2022 Source:   msn.com

Furious China Warns Nancy Pelosi Not to Visit Taiwan

  Furious China Warns Nancy Pelosi Not to Visit Taiwan China warned Pelosi against following through with a visit to the disputed island, threatening the U.S. with "consequences" if she does.Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian cautioned Pelosi on Tuesday against following through on a potential visit to Taiwan in response to a report from the Financial Times which claimed the California Democrat was planning to visit the island in August. Pelosi would be the most senior U.S. official to visit the territory since former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich arranged a three-day stopover in 1997.

BEIJING (AP) — Taiwan’s capital staged air raid drills Monday and its military mobilized for routine defense exercises, coinciding with concerns over a forceful Chinese response to a possible visit to the island by U.S. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.

People are guided by Taiwan's soldiers to a basement shelter during the Wanan air raid drill in Taipei, Taiwan, Monday, July 25, 2022. Taiwan’s capital staged air raid drills Monday and its military mobilized for routine defense exercises, coinciding with concerns over a forceful Chinese response to a possible visit to the island by U.S. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.(AP Photo/Chiang Ying-ying) © Provided by Associated Press People are guided by Taiwan's soldiers to a basement shelter during the Wanan air raid drill in Taipei, Taiwan, Monday, July 25, 2022. Taiwan’s capital staged air raid drills Monday and its military mobilized for routine defense exercises, coinciding with concerns over a forceful Chinese response to a possible visit to the island by U.S. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.(AP Photo/Chiang Ying-ying) A Taiwan's soldier guides people to a basement shelter during the Wanan air raid drill in Taipei, Taiwan, Monday, July 25, 2022. Taiwan’s capital staged air raid drills Monday and its military mobilized for routine defense exercises, coinciding with concerns over a forceful Chinese response to a possible visit to the island by U.S. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.(AP Photo/Chiang Ying-ying) © Provided by Associated Press A Taiwan's soldier guides people to a basement shelter during the Wanan air raid drill in Taipei, Taiwan, Monday, July 25, 2022. Taiwan’s capital staged air raid drills Monday and its military mobilized for routine defense exercises, coinciding with concerns over a forceful Chinese response to a possible visit to the island by U.S. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.(AP Photo/Chiang Ying-ying)

While there was no direct link between China’s renewed threats and Taiwan’s defensive moves, they underscore the possibility of a renewed crisis in the Taiwan Strait, considered a potential hotspot for conflict that could envelop the entire region.

China vows 'consequences' if Pelosi visits Taiwan

  China vows 'consequences' if Pelosi visits Taiwan The Chinese military says it will not sit idly by if the US Speaker visits the self-governing island democracy.On Monday, China warned of "serious consequences" if Nancy Pelosi were to proceed with a visit to Taiwan in the coming weeks.

Air raid sirens were sounded in the capital Taipei and the military was holding its annual multi-day Han Kuang drills, including joint air and sea exercises and the mobilization of tanks and troops.

In Taipei, police directed randomly selected subway commuters to shelters when a siren went off shortly after lunchtime. Most departed after about 15 minutes.

Pelosi has not confirmed when, or even if, she will visit, but President Joe Biden last week told reporters that U.S. military officials believed such a trip was “not a good idea.” Administration officials are believed to be critical of a possible trip, both for the problematic timing and the lack of coordination with the White House.

China's authoritarian ruling Communist Party considers democratic, self-ruling Taiwan its own territory, to be annexed by force if necessary, and regularly advertises that threat by staging military exercises and flying warplanes into Taiwan's air defense identification zone or across the center line of the 180-kilometer (100-mile) -wide Taiwan Strait.

Pelosi to Taiwan would be career capstone, despite warnings

  Pelosi to Taiwan would be career capstone, despite warnings WASHINGTON (AP) — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi launched her political career being tough on China -- a new congresswoman who dared to unfurl a pro-democracy banner in Beijing's Tiananmen Square during a 1991 visit with other U.S. lawmakers shortly after the student massacre. More than 30 years later, her interest in traveling to Taiwan presents a powerful diplomatic capstone. It has also contributed to tensions at the highest levels in Washington and Beijing among officials who worry a trip could prove provocative. As the U.S. balances its high-stakes relations with China, whether Pelosi will lead a delegation trip to Taiwan remains unknown.

Beijing says those actions are aimed at deterring advocates of the island’s formal independence and foreign allies — principally the U.S. — from interfering, more than 70 years after the sides split amid civil war. Surveys routinely show that Taiwan's 23 million people reject China's assertions that the island is a Chinese province that has strayed and must be brought under Beijing's control.

Taiwanese people run to a basement shelter during the Wanan air raid drill, in Taipei, Taiwan, Monday, July 25, 2022.  Taiwan’s capital staged air raid drills Monday and its military mobilized for routine defense exercises, coinciding with concerns over a forceful Chinese response to a possible visit to the island by U.S. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.  (AP Photo/Chiang Ying-ying) © Provided by Associated Press Taiwanese people run to a basement shelter during the Wanan air raid drill, in Taipei, Taiwan, Monday, July 25, 2022. Taiwan’s capital staged air raid drills Monday and its military mobilized for routine defense exercises, coinciding with concerns over a forceful Chinese response to a possible visit to the island by U.S. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. (AP Photo/Chiang Ying-ying)

Pelosi, long a sharp critic of Beijing, is second in line to the White House. She is viewed as a Biden proxy by China, which demands members of Congress follow the commitments made by previous administrations.

Blinken acknowledges ‘prospect for conflict’ with China over Taiwan

  Blinken acknowledges ‘prospect for conflict’ with China over Taiwan A looming showdown over House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s potential visit to Taiwan could test the ability of U.S. and Chinese officials to mitigate the risk of war. “We have many differences when it comes to Taiwan,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken told reporters Friday. "It would be important as part of our shared responsibility to continue to manage this in a wise way that doesn't create the prospect for conflict.”Chinese officials have issued a series of heated warnings against a visit by Pelosi, adding public pressure on an internal U.S.

Taiwan is among the few issues that enjoys broad bipartisan support among lawmakers and within the administration, with Biden stating earlier this year that the U.S. would defend Taiwan if it came under attack.

U.S. law requires Washington provide Taiwan with the means to defend itself and treat all threats to the island as matters of “grave concern," but remains ambiguous on whether it would commit forces in response to an attack from China.

Though the sides lack formal diplomatic ties, the U.S. is Taiwan's chief provider of outside defense assistance and political support, in a reflection of its desire to limit China's growing influence and maintain a robust American presence in the Western Pacific.

During a visit to Indonesia on Sunday, U.S. Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said the Chinese military has become significantly more aggressive and dangerous over the past five years.

Milley's Chinese counterpart, Gen. Li Zuocheng, told him in a call earlier this month that Beijing had “no room for compromise” on issues such as Taiwan.

In a banned tweet, a top state-media commentator reportedly said China could 'forcibly dispel Pelosi's plane' and shoot it down if it flies to Taiwan

  In a banned tweet, a top state-media commentator reportedly said China could 'forcibly dispel Pelosi's plane' and shoot it down if it flies to Taiwan Hu Xijin, a commentator with the Chinese-state-owned Global Times, appeared to threaten House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in a tweet that has been blocked.Pelosi departed on Friday for a tour that could include a controversial stop in Taiwan, the self-governed island democracy at the heart of rising tensions between Beijing and Washington.

Taiwanese people take cover inside of a basement shelter during the Wanan air raid drill, in Taipei, Taiwan, Monday, July 25, 2022. Taiwan’s capital staged air raid drills Monday and its military mobilized for routine defense exercises, coinciding with concerns over a forceful Chinese response to a possible visit to the island by U.S. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.  (AP Photo/Chiang Ying-ying) © Provided by Associated Press Taiwanese people take cover inside of a basement shelter during the Wanan air raid drill, in Taipei, Taiwan, Monday, July 25, 2022. Taiwan’s capital staged air raid drills Monday and its military mobilized for routine defense exercises, coinciding with concerns over a forceful Chinese response to a possible visit to the island by U.S. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. (AP Photo/Chiang Ying-ying)

China's Foreign Ministry said Tuesday it will take “resolute and strong measures,” but has not specified actions it would take in response to a visit to Taiwan by Pelosi, who would be the highest-ranking elected official to visit Taiwan since 1997. Speculation has centered on a new round of threatening military exercises or even an attempt to prevent Pelosi's plane from landing by declaring a no-fly zone over Taiwan.

“If the U.S. is determined to make (a visit) happen, they know China will take unprecedented tough measures and the U.S. must make military preparations," said Shi Yinhong, an international relations expert at Beijing’s Renmin University.

“Expect huffing and puffing, maybe some fire-breathing, military posturing, and perhaps economic punishment of Taiwan," said Michael Mazza, a defense and China expert at the American Enterprise Institute.

China’s Xi Jinping Warns President Joe Biden Against ‘Playing With Fire’ Over Taiwan

  China’s Xi Jinping Warns President Joe Biden Against ‘Playing With Fire’ Over Taiwan Rresidents Joe Biden and Xi Jinping had their first phone call since March—lasting more than two hours.Biden and Xi spoke for 2 hours and 17 minutes on a range of topics including pandemic recovery, trade and supply chain resilience. But it was Taiwan that dominated the agenda. “Resolutely safeguarding China’s national sovereignty and territorial integrity is the firm will of the more than 1.4 billion Chinese people,” Xi told Biden, according to a Chinese readout of the call. “Those who play with fire will perish by it. It is hoped that the U.S. will be clear-eyed about this.

The timing of a Pelosi visit, which could happen sometime in early August, is especially sensitive, hinging on multiple factors. Among them is the anniversary of the founding of the People's Liberation Army — the military branch of the ruling Communist Party — which falls on Aug. 1, a date used to stoke nationalism and rally the troops.

Chinese leaders are also under pressure from hardline nationalist forces within the party ranks.

That harkens back to the Taiwan Strait crisis of 1995 and 1996, when China held exercises and launched missiles into waters north and south of the island in response to a U.S. visit by the island's then-president Lee Teng-hui. The U.S. responded by dispatching two aircraft carrier battle groups to the area, a move that helped spur China's massive military upgrading in the years since that has radically changed the balance of power in Asia.

FILE - Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., talks with reporters ahead of a planned vote in the House that would inscribe the right to use contraceptives into law, a response to the conservative Supreme Court, at the Capitol in Washington on  July 21, 2022. Taiwan’s capital staged air raid drills Monday, July 25, 2022 and its military mobilized for routine defense exercises coinciding with concerns over a forceful Chinese response to a possible visit to the island by Pelosi. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File) © Provided by Associated Press FILE - Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., talks with reporters ahead of a planned vote in the House that would inscribe the right to use contraceptives into law, a response to the conservative Supreme Court, at the Capitol in Washington on July 21, 2022. Taiwan’s capital staged air raid drills Monday, July 25, 2022 and its military mobilized for routine defense exercises coinciding with concerns over a forceful Chinese response to a possible visit to the island by Pelosi. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

Xi is meanwhile seeking a third five-year term as party leader at a congress later this year and needs to show he is in charge amid a slowing economy and a public backlash against his “zero-COVID" policy.

Overall, the situation appears to be more serious than in 1995-96, said Bonnie Glaser, director of the Asia Program at the German Marshall Fund of the United States.

“If the Chinese want to demonstrate resolve they have many ways to do so," Glaser said.

China doesn't want to create a “crisis for crisis' sake," but could try to use the possibility of a Pelosi visit to advance its agenda, said Oriana Skylar Mastro, an expert on Chinese military affairs and foreign policy at Stanford University.

China might take the opportunity to test out capabilities through a large-scale amphibious exercise, which it would justify as a response to an “aggressive move" by the U.S., Mastro said.

“So I think they’ll use it as an opportunity to make advances that could be problematic, but (which) they wanted to do anyway regardless of the Pelosi visit," she said.

___

Associated Press writer Huizhong Wu contributed to this report from Taipei, Taiwan.

Nancy Pelosi's Taiwan Visit: Chinese Military to Conduct Drills Around Taiwan .
The White House warns China not to use the trip as a "pretext to increase aggressive military activity" near Taiwan.Before arriving in Taiwan, U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi stopped in Malaysia.

usr: 0
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