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China invades Taiwan after Pelosi’s visit

US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (C) walking with officials after landing in Taipei Songshan Airport. (Photo | AFP)

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BEIJING: China on Tuesday vowed to launch “targeted military actions” in response to US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan, as tensions flare between Washington and Beijing.

“The Chinese People’s Liberation Army is on high alert and will launch a series of targeted military operations to counter this, resolutely defend national sovereignty and territorial integrity, and resolutely thwart external interference and ‘Taiwan independence’ separatist attempts,” defence ministry spokesman Wu Qian said in a statement condemning the visit.

Meanwhile, Beijing’s state media reported that Chinese fighter jets have crossed the Taiwan Strait. “China’s Su-35 fighter jets are crossing the Taiwan Straits,” state TV CGTN reported, without adding further details.

The United States will “pay the price” if House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visits Taiwan during her Asia trip, China warned Tuesday, as tensions between the two superpowers continued to soar.

The prospect of Pelosi going to Taipei, which would be the highest-profile visit by an elected US official in 25 years, has triggered increasingly bellicose warnings from Beijing that have set the region on edge.

“The US side will bear the responsibility and pay the price for undermining China’s sovereign security interests,” foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said at a regular press briefing in Beijing.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said “the US breach of faith on the Taiwan issue is despicable” in comments published on his ministry’s website Tuesday that did not specifically mention Pelosi.

Beijing considers self-ruled, democratic Taiwan its territory and has vowed to one day seize the island, by force if necessary.

It tries to keep Taiwan isolated on the world stage and opposes countries having official exchanges with it.

In a call with US President Joe Biden last week, Chinese President Xi Jinping warned the United States against “playing with fire” on Taiwan.

While the Biden administration is understood to be opposed to a Taiwan stop, White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said Pelosi was entitled to go where she pleased.

“There is no reason for Beijing to turn a potential visit consistent with longstanding US policies into some sort of crisis,” he told reporters.

The last House Speaker to visit Taiwan was Newt Gingrich in 1997.

Kirby cited intelligence that China was preparing possible military provocations.

He said Pelosi was travelling on a military aircraft and that while Washington did not fear a direct attack, it “raises the stakes of a miscalculation”.

Kirby reiterated, however, that US policy was unchanged toward Taiwan.

This means support for its self-ruling government, while diplomatically recognising Beijing over Taipei and opposing a formal independence declaration by Taiwan or a forceful takeover by China.

Meanwhile, Moscow said it was “absolutely in solidarity with China”, calling the prospect of a Pelosi visit “pure provocation”.

China has refused to condemn Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and has been accused of providing diplomatic cover for the Kremlin by blasting Western sanctions and arms sales to Kyiv.

–The New Indian Express

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