Taiwan’s foreign minister claimed that China had been planning the move for some time and used Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taipei as a pretext to conduct war simulations in the area that helped it get ready for a potential invasion of the island.
At a briefing in Taipei on Tuesday, Joseph Wu stated that China is seeking to alter the current situation in the Taiwan Strait and that the military activity raises concerns that Beijing may go forward with an actual invasion.
“The median line of the Taiwan Strait has kept the status quo in the strait for decades, and it’s a symbol of the status quo in the strait,” said Wu. “This fact has been harmed for the past few days due to the Chinese drills, which affect regional peace, stability, and especially Taiwan’s security.”
From Wednesday to Sunday, China sent more than 120 aircraft above the median line. Taiwan reacted by sending out planes and ships, sending out radio alerts, and sending out land-based missile systems to keep an eye on the activity.
Wu added, “We want to get more support from countries around the world to jointly safeguard the status quo in the strait and maintain the authority of the strait median-line.”
With 21 PLA jets flying over the eastern portion of the Taiwan Strait median line and the island’s southwest air defence identification zone, the Taiwanese Defense Ministry reported that it had identified 39 Chinese warplanes and 13 vessels in the area of the island as of 5:00 p.m. on Monday.
In an indication that Beijing sought to maintain pressure on the island after a series of drills launched in reaction to Pelosi’s visit — which have been the most provocative in decades — the Chinese military announced a new exercise “near Taiwan” on Monday. Beijing criticised Pelosi’s visit as a breach of the US’s promise made 50 years prior not to formally recognise Taiwan’s government, which China believes is its territory.
On Tuesday, Taiwan conducted a live-fire artillery exercise simulating a defence against an invasion by China.
According to a spokeswoman for the Taiwanese Army, the exercises, which took place for roughly an hour on Tuesday near Pingtung in southern Taiwan, simulated a defence against an attack from a People’s Liberation Army convoy on the beach. The spokesman described the exercises as routine and said they had been planned in advance. He claimed they had nothing to do with recent Chinese military drills.