China Launches Military Action in Response to Surprise Taiwan Visit by 4 House Democrats and 1 Republican
China ordered a new round of military drills Monday in response to an American delegation of lawmakers who made a low-key visit to Taiwan.
According to Fox News, the delegation that landed Sunday was led by Democratic Sen. Ed Markey of Massachusetts. Three other Democrats, Reps. John Garamendi and Alan Lowenthal of California and Don Beyer of Virginia, joined Markey on the trip. Representative Amata Radewagen of American Samoa was the lone Republican in the delegation.
The People’s Liberation Army’s Eastern Theatre Command said exercises took place in the sea and air around Taiwan.
The exercises were “a stern deterrent to the United States and Taiwan continuing to play political tricks and undermine peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait,” China said in a statement, according to Reuters.
China’s Defence Ministry said the trip “fully exposes the true face of the United States as a spoiler and spoiler of peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait.”
“The Chinese People’s Liberation Army continues to train and prepare for war, resolutely defends national sovereignty and territorial integrity, and will resolutely crush any form of ‘Taiwan independence’ separatism and foreign interference,” the statement said.
China claims that self-governing Taiwan is rightly a province that it should be governing, and has aggressively pushed back against any effort that recognizes Taiwan.
That posture reached its height of aggressive action after the visit to Taiwan by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, when China conducted multiple days of drills surrounding Taiwan.
“We have a moral obligation to do everything we can to prevent an unnecessary conflict, and Taiwan has demonstrated incredible restraints and discretion during challenging times,” Markey said during the delegation’s visit, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Taiwan’s Defense Ministry said China was “undermining regional peace and stability.”
Taiwan said China sent 30 aircraft to prowl around Taiwan, including 15 missions that crossed an unofficial median line that divides the Taiwan Strait.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said the U.S. was “hollowing out and distorting the one-China principle.”
The U.S. has supported Taiwan unofficially while maintaining official support for China’s claims that it is the only government representing the Chinese people in a policy the Journal called “strategic ambiguity.”
“When a dictatorial communist country threatens to use military force against a democratic country like Taiwan, defending democracy is a consensus between Taiwan and the U.S. There’s no room for ambiguity,” Taiwanese legislator Wang Ting-yu, a member of Taiwan’s ruling Democratic Progressive Party, said.
During the visit, Markey said “we have a moral obligation” to avoid a war.
“Taiwan has demonstrated incredible restraint and discretion during challenging times,” he said.
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