August 16, 2022

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China responds to Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan with military maneuvers

Abroad Target practice around Taiwan

China responds to Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan with military maneuvers

“Taiwan risks high as West is tied up in Ukraine”

Foreign Affairs Committee member Roderich Kieswetter, CDU, says Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan is “overall a good signal”. But he cautions: “We have to be careful not to overdo it.”

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US President Nancy Pelosi met President Tsai Ing-wen in Taiwan on Wednesday. In response, China conducted aggressive military exercises across the island. The exercise, with 21 fighter jets, was bigger than the exercises carried out during the 1995 missile crisis.

DSpeaker of the US House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, has pledged US support to Taiwan in countering the Chinese threat. At a joint press conference with President Tsai Ing-wen in Taipei on Wednesday, the US president said the US “will always stand by Taiwan”. The visit of the congressional delegation to Taiwan shows that “we will not abandon our commitment to Taiwan.”

“More than ever, American unity is more important,” Pelosi said, alluding to Beijing’s communist leadership’s threats against Taiwan. That was the message of his congressional delegation’s visit. US support for Taiwan is bipartisan. “Today the world faces a choice between democracy and autocracy,” Pelosi said, praising Taiwan as “one of the freest societies in the world.”

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Shortly after Pelosi landed, China’s military began targeted training maneuvers in the six seas surrounding Taiwan. These are expected to start on Tuesday night and last for four days. China’s Air Force headed towards Taiwan with 21 fighter jets, including fighter jets.

The drills are seen as the biggest military muscle-flexing since the 1995 missile crisis, when China launched missiles at Taiwan and the US deployed two aircraft carrier groups. The maritime areas for the exercises went beyond restricted zones at the time, going close to Taiwan and sometimes appearing to encroach on its sovereign territories.

According to the CNA news agency, Taiwan’s military said it was a “serious violation” of the United Nations Law of the Sea and a violation of the country’s sovereignty, and feared a naval and aerial blockade.

US Speaker Pelosi visits Taiwan

Nancy Pelosi (left) with Tsai Ing-wen

Source: Getty Images/Manual

Russia’s aggression against Ukraine has drawn international attention to the conflict with China over Taiwan, Taiwan’s president said. The situation in the Taiwan Strait has implications for the security of the Asia-Pacific region. “Taiwan will not back down,” Tsai said, referring to China’s threat. “We will do everything necessary to strengthen our defense capabilities.”

Pelosi arrived in Taiwan on Tuesday. The US House Speaker’s stay is the highest-profile trip from the United States to the island’s democratic republic in a quarter of a century. Beijing views Taiwan as part of the People’s Republic and strictly rejects official communications to Taipei from other countries.

Rodgen criticized the timing of the trip

CDU foreign policy expert Norbert Rottgen believes the timing of US top politician Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan was wrong. “Currently there is a lot of international tension due to the Russian war of aggression. In this situation, Pelosi’s visit has a purely symbolic meaning, and China in turn feels inevitably provoked,” he told Editorial Network Germany (RND/Wednesday). However, Rotgen described China’s “threatening gestures in view of Nancy Pelosi’s visit” as completely unacceptable.

Foreign Affairs Committee Chair Michael Roth (SPD) praised Pelosi’s visit. “This visit was not aggressive or provocative. Otherwise, the government in Taipei would not have issued an invitation because the Taiwanese are well aware of the risk to their interests and security,” he told Mediengruppe Bayern newspapers. Ulrich Lechte, foreign policy spokesman for the FDP parliamentary group, said: “It is very welcome that Nancy Pelosi is not impressed by Beijing’s attempts at intimidation.”

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Arrival at night: Nancy Pelosi (4th from right) is greeted at Taipei Airport after a five-hour flight from Kuala Lumpur

Jürgen Hart, foreign policy spokesman for the Union Department, praised the visit. “Clash with China on key issues cannot be avoided. Taiwan is one of those issues. I have nothing to criticize about this trip,” he told a media panel.

On the other hand, left-wing politician Gregor Gisi criticizes the trip. He told the Watson news portal: “For the interests of the Taiwanese people, any provocation by the West should be avoided.” China will leave Taiwan alone as long as it sees no threat to the One China policy.

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