BY: Nasir Mehmood Kiyani
Chinese military PLA has started its live-fire drills in the Taiwan strait after US Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s controversial Taiwan visit. PLA has cordoned Taiwan and started its large-scale military drills in six zones surrounding the Taiwan island. These live fire large scale drills will continue till Sunday. After 1996, this is the first time that Chinese missiles hit targets in the Taiwan strait near Taiwan. Nancy Pelosi’s Taiwan visit was the first visit by a sitting US speaker of the House in 25 years.
Earlier this week, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian on August 01, 2022, warned the US, “Those who play with fire will perish by it. We believe that the US side is fully aware of China’s strong and clear message. We are closely following the itinerary of Speaker Pelosi. We want to once again make it clear to the US side that the Chinese side is fully prepared for any eventuality and that the People’s Liberation Army of China will never sit idly by, and we will make resolute response and take strong countermeasures to uphold China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.”
Reacting to the Chinese Foreign Office statement, US National Security Council coordinator John Kirby said, “The Speaker has a right to visit Taiwan. If she goes it’s not without precedent, it’s not new. We want to make sure that when she travels overseas, she can do so safely and securely and we’re going to make sure of that. There is no reason for the Chinese rhetoric. There is no reason for any actions to be taken. It is not uncommon for congressional leaders to travel to Taiwan,”
Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi declared her visit “commitment to democracy”. On microblogging site Twitter, she said, “By traveling to Taiwan, we honor our commitment to democracy: reaffirming that the freedoms of Taiwan — and all democracies — must be respected.”
Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Tuesday issued a strong statement on US Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to China’s Taiwan region.
According to China’s Foreign Office Statement, “On 2 August, in disregard of China’s strong opposition and serious representations, Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi visited China’s Taiwan region. This is a serious violation of the one-China principle and the provisions of the three China-U.S. joint communiqués.”
The official statement further stated that “It has a severe impact on the political foundation of China-U.S. relations, and seriously infringes upon China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. It gravely undermines peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait, and sends a seriously wrong signal to the separatist forces for “Taiwan independence”. China firmly opposes and sternly condemns this, and has made serious démarche and strong protest to the United States. There is but one China in the world, Taiwan is an inalienable part of China’s territory, and the Government of the People’s Republic of China is the sole legal government representing the whole of China.”
China asked the US to stop playing the Taiwan card and stop interfering in internal matters of China. “China strongly urges the United States to stop playing the “Taiwan card” and using Taiwan to contain China. It should stop meddling on Taiwan and interfering in China’s internal affairs. It should stop supporting and conniving at “Taiwan independence” separatist forces in any form.” Reads official statement.
Immediately after the landing of Nancy’s US Military jet in Taipei, the Chinese Ministry of Defense announced that, “The Chinese People’s Liberation Army is on high alert and will take a series of targeted military operations in response to resolutely safeguard China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.”
In an official response, Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs Hue Chunying said that, “China will definitely take all necessary measures to resolutely safeguard its sovereignty and territorial integrity in response to the U.S. Speaker’s visit. All the consequences arising therefrom must be borne by the U.S. side and the “Taiwan independence” separatist forces.”
According to PLA’s Easter Command, “The Eastern Theater Command of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) organizes joint combat training exercises in the northern, southwestern and southeastern waters and airspace off the Taiwan Island on August 3, involving troops from the Navy, Air Force, Rocket Force, Strategic Support Force and Logistic Support Force under the Eastern Theater Command. The exercises focus on key training sessions including joint blockade, sea target assault, strike on ground targets, airspace control operation, and the joint combat capabilities of the troops got tested in the military operations.”
After this announcement, PLA forces surrounded the Taiwan island and no vessels or aircrafts are allowed to enter in the area since then.
The spokesperson for the Ministry of National Defense today reiterated China’s stance in an official statement and said that, “We sternly warn the US side and the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) authorities that the scheme to use Taiwan to contain China is doomed to fail, and seeking foreign support to gain “Taiwan independence” is a dead end. The collusion and provocations made by the US and the DPP authorities will only push Taiwan into the abyss of disaster, and bring great suffering to Taiwan compatriots.”
After Nancy’s Taiwan visit, China retaliated on the economic front as well. As countermeasures, China has suspended the export of natural sand to Taiwan and placed a ban on the import of fruit and fish from Taiwan.
Chinese State Councilor Wang Yi said in a statement that, “The United States is violating China’s sovereignty under the guise of “democracy”. Those who offend China will be punished. Those who play with fire will perish by it and those who offend China will be punished.”