China-Taiwan news - live: Asia trip ‘not about changing status quo’ says Pelosi

·22 min read

Nancy Pelosi, who arrived in Japan last evening for the final leg of her Asia tour, said the trip to the region was “not about changing the status quo in Taiwan”.

Her diplomatic support to Taipei infuriated China, prompting it to hold live-fire military drills in the waters off Taiwan.

China’s state broadcaster said the military exercises that are set to end on Sunday, would be the largest conducted by China in the Taiwan Strait. The exercises have involved live fire on the waters and in the airspace around the island.

Five missiles landed in Japan’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ), prompting Tokyo to lodge a strong protest through diplomatic channels.

Speaking after the meeting Ms Pelosi, Japanese prime minister Fumio Kishida said China’s military exercises aimed at Taiwan represent a “grave problem” that threatens regional peace and security and the missile launches need to be “stopped immediately”.

The US House speaker, who previous asserted American commitment to democracy in Taiwan and elsewhere as “ironclad,” said China will not isolate Taipei by preventing American officials from travelling there.

Key points

  • Taiwan's defence ministry said that China launched two missiles near Matsu Islands

  • China begins largest-ever military drills around Taiwan

  • Taiwan deploys missile systems to track Chinese airforce activities

  • SE Asia urges US, China to avoid provocation over Taiwan

  • ‘We will not abandon our commitment to Taiwan,’ says Pelosi

  • China curbs trade with Taiwan following Pelosi's visit

Chinese ambassador issues chilling warning to Taiwan

05:00 , Josh Marcus

A senior Chinese diplomat has issued a chilling warning to Taiwan not to assert its independence anymore, lest it have China “re-educate” the breakaway territory.

Read the full story, only from Independent Premium.

Beijing will ‘re-educate’ Taiwan if it takes over island, Chinese ambassador warns

Pelosi: Asian trip ‘is not about changing the status quo in Taiwan’

04:30 , Namita Singh

US House speaker Nancy Pelosi said today that the trip to Asia was never “about changing the status quo in Taiwan or the region”. She made the comments after meeting Japanese prime minister Fumio Kishida.

Ms Pelosi, who became the highest-level US official to visit Taiwan in 25 years, had praised its democracy and pledged solidarity, enraging China. It prompted the infuriated neighbour to hold live-fire military drills in the waters off Taiwan.

Japan’s prime minister Fumio Kishida and US house speaker Nancy Pelosi pose for a photo session at the prime minister’s official residence in Tokyo on 5 August 2022 (JAPAN POOL / JIJI PRESS/AFP via)
Japan’s prime minister Fumio Kishida and US house speaker Nancy Pelosi pose for a photo session at the prime minister’s official residence in Tokyo on 5 August 2022 (JAPAN POOL / JIJI PRESS/AFP via)

China’s state broadcaster said the military exercises that began yesterday and are set to end on Sunday, would be the largest conducted by China in the Taiwan Strait. The exercises have involved live fire on the waters and in the airspace around the island.

Five missiles landed in Japan’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ), prompting Tokyo to lodge a strong protest through diplomatic channels.

One of Washington’s closest allies, Tokyo has been increasingly alarmed about China’s growing might in the Indo-Pacific and the possibility that Beijing could take military action against Taiwan.

China’s Dongfeng missiles take center stage amid Taiwan tensions

04:00 , Josh Marcus

Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defence has accused China of firing 11 Dongfeng ballistic missiles into waters to the northeast and southwest of the island as part of aggressive military drills intended as an intimidating show of force.

Tensions in the region have escalated considerably following a visit to Taiwan this week by Nancy Pelosi, speaker of the US House of Representatives, third in line to the presidency and the most senior American politician to visit the country in 25 years.

Beijing urged Ms Pelosi not to pay her respects to a territory that has its own democratic political system, constitution and military but which China considers its own, warning that the trip amounted to “playing with fire”.

After she brushed off those threats and arrived in Taipei, the superpower ordered five days of live-fire exercises and warned that regional conflict could become inevitable, ratcheting up tensions with the self-governing republic to their highest levels since 1996.

Joe Sommerlad with the full story.

How powerful are China’s Dongfeng missiles?

South Korean president misses Pelosi meeting for staycation

03:00 , Josh Marcus

Nancy Pelosi’s much-watched Asia tour has included a run of high-profile meetings: conversations with the prime ministers of Singapore and Malaysia; a meeting with the president of Taiwan; and a likely dialogue with the prime minister of Japan by the end of the week.

Missing from that list is the president of South Korea, who missed an in-person get together with the House Speaker as he takes a staycation in Seoul.

Ms Pelosi arrived in South Korea on Wednesday evening. At the time Yoon Suk-yeol was in north Seoul attending a theater performance, grabbing selfies and dinner with the cast of a comedy about a subway station worker.

Mr Yoon’s office has explained he was unavailable to meet in person with the US leader.

Here’s our full story on the snub.

South Korean president misses Pelosi meeting for staycation

Photos and videos capture Nancy Pelosi arriving in Japan

02:00 , Josh Marcus

Nancy Pelosi arrived in Japan on Thursday evening.

She was greated by a delegation including US Ambassador Rahm Emanuel and Ricky Rupp, the commander of US forces in Japan.

Here’s what the scene looked like on the ground.

Nancy Pelosi arrives in Japan

01:32 , Josh Marcus

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi arrived in Japan on Thursday evening for the final leg of her Asia tour.

Her plane taxied in at Yokota Air Base in Tokyo around 10pm.

Ms Pelosi is scheduled to meet with the Speaker of Japan’s Lower House, Hosoda Hiroyuki, during her visit.

She will also have breakfast on Friday with Prime Minister Fumio Kishida to discuss the US-Japan alliance.

Japan has protested China’s military excercises near Taiwan, which came as the US official visited the contested island nation earlier this week.

Another high-profile foreign trip—to the US

01:12 , Josh Marcus

Nancy Pelosi isn’t the only leader on a controversial foreign tour.

A little over a week ago, Hungary’s prime minister delivered a speech about immigration in which he declared that Europeans “do not want to become peoples of mixed-race.”

The comments by Viktor Orban, the 59-year-old far-right leader, prompted outrage in his own country and across Europe for their explicit racism, and led to the resignation of his close adviser of 20 years, who described the speech as “pure Nazi text.”

But Mr Orban’s use of white supremacist rhetoric did little to dampen the enthusiasm of American conservatives for his visit to the United States this week.

The prime minister was pictured smiling alongside Donald Trump at his Bedminster golf resort on Tuesday. After the meeting, the former president released a statement in which he described Mr Orban as a “friend,” adding: “few people know as much about what is going on in the world today.”

Richard Hall with the full story.

Fresh from furore over ‘Nazi’ speech, Viktor Orban receives rousing welcome at CPAC

Why did Pelosi visit the DMZ?

Friday 5 August 2022 00:52 , Josh Marcus

As if the tension wasn’t high enough, Nancy Pelosi visited the heavily fortified, 160-mile Demilitarised Zone between North and South Korea on Thursday with members of a congressional delegation.

“It was a privilege to engage with American heroes in uniform on the ground in Korea, led by General Paul LaCamera, Commander, U.S. Forces Korea. During visits to the Demilitarized Zone/Joint Security Area (DMZ/JSA) and Osan Air Base, we conveyed the gratitude of the Congress and the Country for the patriotic service of our Servicemembers, who stand as sentinels of Democracy on the Korean peninsula,” she wrote in a statement afterwards.

The visit, as well as Ms Pelosi’s meeting with South Korean leaders, reinforced the US’s role as a nuclear deterent on the Korean peninsula.

“The United States and South Korea share a strong bond formed for security and forged by decades of warm friendship. Our Congressional delegation traveled to Seoul to reaffirm our treasured ties and our shared commitment to advancing security and stability, economic growth and democratic governance,” the House Speaker said of her visit.

Chinese ambassador to US slams Pelosi trip in Washington Post op-ed

Friday 5 August 2022 00:22 , Josh Marcus

Qin Gang, the Chinese ambassador to the US, voice his frustration with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s Taiwan trip in a scathing op-ed published Thursday in The Washington Post.

In the piece, he argued the US and the international community have long recognised China as the sole representative of Taiwan. Ms Pelosi’s trip, he said, shattered an unsteady peace.

“These are extremely irresponsible, provocative and dangerous moves,” he wrote. “The one-China principle is part of the postwar international order and has become a general international consensus. As a country that thinks of itself as a champion of the ‘rules-based international order,’ the United States should naturally abide by the one-China principle.”

Read the full piece via the Post.

Tucker Carlson mocked for saying ‘US has never been less ready for war’

Thursday 4 August 2022 23:58 , Josh Marcus

Between Nancy Pelosi’s Taiwan trip and the US strike on Al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri, questions and analysis about the US military’s tactics are on the minds of many. Including Tucker Carlson.

The Fox News host went on a tirade earlier this week blasting the military readiness of the US on the same day that President Joe Biden announced that the leader of Al-Qaeda had been killed.

On Monday night, Mr Carlson also laced into House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who landed in Taiwan on the following day along with fellow Democratic lawmakers for a trip that has been criticized for ratcheting up tensions with China. China notably considers the island part of its own territory.

“Nancy Pelosi ... has no understanding of what she is doing or what might happen if she does it”, Mr Carlson said ahead of Ms Pelosi’s trip. “No one wants to say it out loud, but the truth is, she can’t know because, like Kamala Harris, she’s never even been in a bar fight. She has no understanding of violence or its consequences and there are consequences, including the potential deaths of millions of people.”

Tucker Carlson says ‘US has never been less ready for war’ as Biden strikes Al Qaeda

Chinese military drills shake up the region

Thursday 4 August 2022 23:38 , Josh Marcus

China fired ballistic missiles during unprecedented military drills around Taiwan on Thursday, in response to Nancy Pelosi’s controversial visit to Taipei, the self-ruled island that Beijing regards as its sovereign territory.

China fires ballistic missiles into Taiwan Strait as fury over Pelosi visit grows

Taiwanese officials condemned the excercises as “irresponsible, illegitimate behaviour”, and cancelled flights to China.

Taiwan cancels flights as China holds military drills

South Korean president ditches Pelosi meeting for ‘staycation'

Thursday 4 August 2022 23:12 , Josh Marcus

South Korean president Yoon Suk-yeol didn’t meet with US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi when she arrived in the country for the next leg of her Asian tour.

Instead, the head of state was on what’s been dubbed a “staycation.”

He was spotted on Wednesday evening attending a theater performance in Seoul and hobnobbing over dinner and drinks with the actors.

His office has said the holiday was planned before Ms Pelosi’s agenda went public.

“I have received questions about whether the president avoided meeting with the House speaker because he was wary of China,” his spokesperson told The Washington Post. “All these things are decided based on a thorough consideration of our country’s national interest.”

The two spoke by phone instead.

Some in the country have been critical of the perceived snub.

“Yoon’s avoidance of Pelosi meeting may send wrong signals to the U.S. and China,” the Chosun Ilbo newspaper argued in an editorial, warning of a “submissive attitude” towards Xi Jinping .

How the potential next UK prime minister would handle Taiwan

Thursday 4 August 2022 22:58 , Josh Marcus

Tory leadership candidate Liz Truss has said that she will not visit Taiwan if she is elected prime minister and leader of the Conservative party.

The foreign secretary’s comments came after China fired missiles in military drills following a visit from US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Wednesday, 3 August.

“We have a long standing position that the foreign secretary, the Ministry of Defence and the prime minister don’t visit Taiwan,” Ms Truss said during a Sky News debate on Thursday.

More from Independent TV.

Tory leadership: Liz Truss says she will not visit Taiwan if elected prime minister

Editorial: Nancy Pelosi’s trip to Taiwan was ill-advised at a precarious time for the world

Thursday 4 August 2022 22:38 , Josh Marcus

If Nancy Pelosi went to Taiwan with the aim of making its people feel more secure, then her visit may be judged to have enjoyed mixed results at best.

It was a rare visit and president Tsai Ing-wen of Taiwan was no doubt delighted to greet Speaker Pelosi, technically second only to vice-president Kamala Harris in seniority. But it is not obvious the visit enjoyed support from the White House, or signalled any substantial new commitment of American resources to the defence of Taiwan.

Ms Pelosi, in other words, was engaged in gesture politics, albeit of a lofty kind, and the gesture was taken to be an exceptionally rude one in Beijing, which has chosen to ignore the nuances of how far Speaker Pelosi was acting with the authority of President Biden.

There are few issues more likely to send Chinese officialdom into paroxysms of rage than Taiwan, and Speaker Pelosi must have known this. A politician of unusual strength of mind, she has a long record in defending the universal human rights of the Chinese people against their authoritarian government. Moreover, she has plenty of experience in understanding the diplomatic sensitivities involved in such an initiative as her official trip.

Read more from The Independent’s editorial about the controversial trip.

Editorial: Nancy Pelosi’s trip to Taiwan was ill-advised at this precarious time

Chinese military official calls US ‘saboteur of peace’ in fiery tweets

Thursday 4 August 2022 22:00 , Graig Graziosi

Hua Chunying, a spokesperson for the Chinese military, condemned the US and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Thursday, calling the US the “biggest saboteur of peace” on the planet.

“Pelosi’s stunt is another bankruptcy of US politics, diplomacy and credibility. It proves the US to be the biggest saboteur of peace and the biggest troublemaker to regional stability,” she wrote.

NSC spokesman Admiral John Kirby says US expects Chinese to continue ‘provocative military activity'

Thursday 4 August 2022 21:45 , Graig Graziosi

National Security Council spokesman Admiral John Kirby said the US expects that China will continue aggressive military shows of force in reaction to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s trip to Taiwan.

“China has chosen to overreact and use the Speaker’s visit as a pretext to increase provocative military activity in and around the Taiwan Strait,” Mr Kirby said during a briefing at the White House. “We also expect that these actions will continue.”

It’s unclear what specifically what actions the US expects China to take in the coming days.

Taiwan used flares and scrambled jets to ward off Chinese drones

Thursday 4 August 2022 21:25 , Graig Graziosi

Reports from Taiwan suggest its defense officials scrambled jets and fired off flares to ward off Chinese drones flying near the island.

Taiwanese officials said four drones were operating near the island, and that at one point on Thursday 22 Chinese jets crossed the median line in the Taiwan Strait before turning around.

NSC spokesman Admiral John Kirby says USS Ronald Regan will stay in western Pacific as China runs live-fire drills

Thursday 4 August 2022 21:00 , Graig Graziosi

NSC spokesman Admiral John Kirby told reporters Thursday that USS Ronald Regan, a US Navy aircraft carrier, will remain in the western Pacific as China runs live-fire drills in the wake of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan.

China engaged in live-fire drills on Wednesday and Thursday, some of which flew over Taipei and landed in Japanese waters.

Flights from South Korea to Taiwan cancelled after China continues live-fire drills

Thursday 4 August 2022 20:29 , Graig Graziosi

Reports coming out of South Korean media suggest that Korea Air has cancelled flights between that country and Taiwan due to China’s live-fire drills in the Taiwan Strait.

Korean Air has reportedly cancelled flights between the city of Incheon and Taiwan for Friday and Saturday.

Singapore’s Civil Aviation Authority said it also rerouted flights to avoid the Taiwan Strait due to China’s drills.

Nancy Pelosi visits demilitarised zone at the border of North and South Korea

Thursday 4 August 2022 20:10 , Graig Graziosi

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited the demilitarised zone, which sits along the border of North Korea and South Korea, along with a congressional delegation on Thursday.

“It was a privilege to engage with American heroes in uniform on the ground in Korea, led by General Paul LaCamera, Commander, U.S. Forces Korea. During visits to the Demilitarized Zone/Joint Security Area (DMZ/JSA) and Osan Air Base, we conveyed the gratitude of the Congress and the Country for the patriotic service of our Servicemembers, who stand as sentinels of Democracy on the Korean peninsula,” Ms Pelosi said in a statement.

Her trip to the DMZ comes on the heels of her visit to Taiwan, which infuriated China. Beijing responded by engaging in live-fire military drills in the Taiwan Strait.

Russian politician said it would have been ‘good’ if China had shot down Nancy Pelosi’s plane

Thursday 4 August 2022 19:39 , Graig Graziosi

Russian politician and ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin said he thought it would have been “good” if China had shot down House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s plane ahead of her visit to Taiwan.

Aleksey Zhuravlyov, a Duma member and the head of the nationalist Rodina party, appeared on Russian state TV, where he said that shooting down Ms Pelosi’s plane would have opened a “second front” for Mr Putin’s war efforts.

“It would be important for us if this plane was either squeezed out [intercepted] or was shot down,” he said. “For us, opening a second front is good. No matter how the situation with the island [Taiwan] develops, we will anyway win. The whole world understands that the only country which can resist the U.S. is Russia.”

Biden admin delays routine missile test launch to avoid escalating tensions with China

Thursday 4 August 2022 18:44 , Graig Graziosi

The Biden administration has reportedly delayed a routine test launch of a ballistic missile in California in order to avoid escalating tensions with China.

Beijing has been holding live fire drills in the Taiwan Strait in response to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan.

A defense official spoke to the Wall Street Journal about the delay.

“This is a long-planned test but it is being postponed to remove any misunderstandings given the PRC’s [People’s Republic of China] actions around Taiwan,” the official told the paper.

Officials said the delay could last for up to 10 days.

Taiwanese officials warn citizens not to travel to China unless ‘absolutely necessary’ following activists’ arrest

Thursday 4 August 2022 18:14 , Graig Graziosi

Officials in Taiwan have warned citizens not to travel to China unless “absolutely necessary” after Taiwanese pro-democracy advocate Yang Chih-yuan was arrested by Chinese authorities for “sepratism.”

He was arrested and charged on 3 August.

Taiwanese officials fear other citizens may be targetted under similar charges if they visit China.

NSC Spokesman Admiral John Kirby says US watching Chinese drills ‘very closely'

Thursday 4 August 2022 17:24 , Graig Graziosi

National Security Council spokesman Admiral John Kirby told reporters on Thursday that the US was monitoring China’s live-fire military drills in the Taiwan Strait “very, very closely.”

China began holding the live-fire drills as a way to voice its displeasure with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan.

Mr Kirby laid the blame for the heightened tensions at China’s feet.

“The provocateur here is Beijing. They didn’t have to react this way to what is completely normal travel by congressional members to Taiwan...The Chinese are the ones who are escalating this,” he said.

Taiwan defense officials say Chinese jets passed the Taiwan Strait ‘median line’

Thursday 4 August 2022 16:31 , Graig Graziosi

Defense officials in Taipei, Taiwan have accused China of sending jets over the “median line” in the Taiwan Strait, an unofficial border between China and Taiwan.

On Wednesday, 22 jets buzzed over the line, and another 22 did so on Thursday.

Defense officials in Taipei said they planned to ramp up their air defenses in response.

Japanese Ministry of Defense believes some Chinese missiles were shot over Taiwan

Thursday 4 August 2022 15:37 , Graig Graziosi

The Japanese Ministry of Defense released a map showing what it believes are the trajectories of nine Chinese missiles fired in response to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan.

Five of the missiles landed in Japan’s economic exclusion zone, but the map also suggests that several missiles were shot over the island of Taiwan, and more specifically, over its capital city, Taipei.

Both Taiwan and Japan have denounced China’s reaction to Ms Pelosi’s visit.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov defends China’s reaction to Pelosi trip

Thursday 4 August 2022 15:11 , Graig Graziosi

Dmitry Peskov, the spokesman for the Kremlin, told reporters that China’s reaction to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan — which included holding military drills and lobbing missiles around the Taiwan Strait — was within the nation’s rights.

“This is China’s sovereign right,” Mr Peskov said. “The tension in the region and around Taiwan was provoked… by the visit of Nancy Pelosi. It was an absolutely unnecessary visit and an unnecessary provocation.”

Japanese Ministry of Defense says China launched nine missiles towards their territory

Thursday 4 August 2022 14:35 , Graig Graziosi

The Japanese Ministry of Defense issued a statement on Thursday claiming that China had fired nine missiles, including five that landed in its economic exclusion zone. Four others landed outside its waters.

The Japanese government has condemned China’s actions, which come as a result of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s trip to Taiwan.

China launches missiles into Japan’s exclusive economic zone, says minister

Thursday 4 August 2022 14:20 , Gustaf Kilander

China has launched five ballistic missiles into the waters that Japan considers to be its exclusive economic zone (EEZ), the Japanese defence minister says, adding that this is the first time such an incident has ever taken place.

Nobuo Kishi said Japan had lodged a protest via diplomatic routes.

US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is due to travel to Japan after visiting Taiwan and South Korea.

It was her trip to Taiwan that infuriated China and led Beijing to launch military exercises around Taiwan, in what could be the biggest of their kind since the mid-1990s.

The five missiles that landed in Japanese territory were from those exercises, the Japan Times said.

“This is a grave issue that concerns our country’s national security and people’s safety,” Kishi told a hastily organised news conference.

Read more:

China launches missiles into Japan’s exclusive economic zone, says minister

How powerful are China’s Dongfeng missiles?

Thursday 4 August 2022 14:05 , Joe Sommerlad

Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defence has accused China of firing 11 Dongfeng ballistic missiles into waters to the northeast and southwest of the island as part of aggressive military drills intended as an intimidating show of force.

Tensions in the region have escalated considerably following a visit to Taiwan this week by Nancy Pelosi, speaker of the US House of Representatives, third in line to the presidency and the most senior American politician to visit the country in 25 years.

Beijing urged Ms Pelosi not to pay her respects to a territory that has its own democratic political system, constitution and military but which China considers its own, warning that the trip amounted to “playing with fire”.

After she brushed off those threats and arrived in Taipei, the superpower ordered five days of live-fire exercises and warned that regional conflict could become inevitable, ratcheting up tensions with the self-governing republic to their highest levels since 1996.

Taiwan’s defence ministry said its armed forces had used early warning, surveillance and reconnaissance systems to monitor the Dongfeng (or, DF) rockets and condemned China’s “irrational actions undermining regional peace”.

Read more:

How powerful are China’s Dongfeng missiles?