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China announces new drills as US delegation visits Taiwan

Online Desk

Published: 14:33, 16 August 2022

China announces new drills as US delegation visits Taiwan

The delegation of U.S. Congress members visited Taiwan parliament on Monday.

China announced more military drills around Taiwan as the self-governing island's president met with members of a new U.S. congressional delegation on Monday, threatening to renew tensions between Beijing and Washington after a similar recent visit by U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi angered China.

Pelosi was the highest-level member of the U.S. government to visit Taiwan in 25 years, and her trip prompted nearly two weeks of threatening military exercises by China, which claims the island as its own. In those drills, Beijing fired missiles over the island and into the Taiwan Strait and sent warplanes and navy ships across the waterway's midline, which has long been a buffer between the sides that split amid civil war in 1949.

China accuses the U.S. of encouraging the island's independence through the sale of weapons and engagement between U.S. politicians and the island's government. Washington says it does not support independence, has no formal diplomatic ties with the island and maintains that the two sides should settle their dispute peacefully - but it is legally bound to ensure the island can defend itself against any attack.

American and Taiwanese officials have accused China of using Pelosi's visit as a pretext for intimidating moves, and a senior U.S. official said recently that Washington would continue to deepen its ties with Taiwan in the coming days and weeks. The latest trip began Sunday with little notice ahead of time - and drew more ire from China. The delegation was due to leave late Monday.

"China will take resolute and strong measures to defend national sovereignty and territorial integrity," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said at a daily briefing Monday, after Beijing announced new drills in the seas and skies surrounding Taiwan. "A handful of U.S. politicians, in collusion with the separatist forces of Taiwan independence, are trying to challenge the one-China principle, which is out of their depth and doomed to failure."

The new exercises were intended to be "resolute response and solemn deterrent against collusion and provocation between the U.S. and Taiwan," the Defense Ministry said earlier.

 

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