China begins new military drills as US delegation visits Taiwan; accuses US of 'stirring up confrontation'

·3 min read

China has announced additional military drills around Taiwan in response to the latest visit by a delegation of American lawmakers to the island.

The delegation led by Senator Ed Markey (D-MA) arrived in the nation for a two-day visit on Sunday, 12 days after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi made her own visit earlier this month.

On Monday, China's military said it is conducting new drills near Taiwan in response to the visit. According to the People's Liberation Army's Eastern Theater Command, 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."

Markey was joined by House Representatives John Garamendi (D, CA-3), Alan Lowenthal (D, CA-47) and Don Beyer of Virginia (D, VA-8), along with Republican Aumua Amata Coleman Radewagen of American Samoa (R, AS).

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The delegation was scheduled to meet Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen, Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu and local lawmakers during the trip.

The American Institute in Taiwan, which serves as its de-facto U.S. embassy, shared that the two parties will discuss bilateral relations, regional security, trade and investment, global supply chains, climate change and other significant issues of mutual interest.

Markey’s office said in a statement that the delegation’s visit aims to reaffirm the U.S.’ support for Taiwan and “encourage stability and peace across the Taiwan Strait.”

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The statement noted that they have planned meetings with political and business leaders to talk about topics such as investments in semiconductors.

In a statement on Sunday, China’s embassy in Washington said the latest visit “proves that the U.S. does not want to see stability across the Taiwan Straits and has spared no effort to stir up confrontation between the two sides and interfere in China’s internal affairs.”

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin also condemned the visit as sending “seriously wrong signals” toward “separatist forces” in Taiwan.

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"Ignoring China's repeated protests & firm opposition, US lawmaker Ed Markey insisted on visiting China’s Taiwan region, this plainly violates the One China Principle & the China-US joint communiqués, it is an intrusion of China’s sovereignty & territorial integrity," Li Bijian, the Consul General of China to Karachi, also expressed on Twitter.

China similarly opposed Pelosi’s Taiwan visit and conducted military drills in response. For Beijing, the trip violated the U.S.’ promise decades ago not to formally recognize the government of Taiwan, which China claims as its territory.

China has also accused the U.S. government of encouraging independence groups in Taiwan by engaging with their officials and selling military equipment.

 

Featured Image via @libijian