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Departure Pelosi leaves Taiwan after trip triggers China military drills in conceivable ‘demonstration of war’

Departure Pelosi leaves Taiwan after trip triggers China military drills in conceivable 'demonstration of war'

Departure Pelosi leaves Taiwan after trip triggers China military drills in conceivable ‘demonstration of war’

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi left Taiwan Wednesday after a visit that excited US strains with China — which is answering with its biggest military drills in over 25 years in what specialists cautioned could be

“seen as a demonstration of war.”

The resistant 82-year-old California Democrat and her designation flew out of Taipei following an about 19-hour visit that was the first by a House speaker in quite a while.

Pelosi’s outing had so incensed central area China that the country’s most famous web-based entertainment stage, Weibo, crashed for around 30 minutes, affirming it was overextended as a few hashtags piled up a few billion perspectives.

“This old she-demon, she really thinks for even a moment to come!” famous blogger Xiaoyuantoutiao composed, adding that they had hit the sack “so furious I was unable to rest.”

In this photo released by Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Taiwan's Foreign Minister Joseph Wu, left, gestures while speaking with U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi as she prepares to leave Taipei,
Taiwan’s Foreign Minister Joseph Wu (left) speaks with US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi as she prepares to leave Taipei.
AP

But the online anger was nothing compared to that of the Beijing government, which views Taiwan as part of its sovereign territory and had made a series of ominous threats while making clear that the speaker’s visit would be considered a major provocation.

Even before Pelosi’s arrival, Chinese warplanes buzzed the imaginary line dividing the Taiwan Strait, with the People’s Liberation Army saying it was on high alert and would launch

“targeted military operations.”

After Pelosi landed, China announced that it would hold four days of

“necessary and just”

joint air and sea drills beginning Thursday, the largest aimed at Taiwan since 1995.

Taiwan Foreign Minister Joseph Wu waves at U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi a
Taiwan Foreign Minister Joseph Wu waves at US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi as she prepares to leave.
VIA REUTERS
In this photo released by Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, top, and other members of her delegation wave
US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (top) and other members of her delegation wave as they prepare to leave Taiwan.
AP
 U.S. government plane carrying Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) takes off from Taipei Songshan Airport
A US government plane carrying House Speaker Nancy Pelosi takes off from Taipei Songshan Airport.
Getty Images

The drills would include live fire and test launches of conventional missiles, according to the Chinese state news agency Xinhua.

At least half of the six areas where the drills are planned to take place appear to infringe on Taiwanese waters, according to Arthur Zhin-Sheng Wang, a defense studies expert at Taiwan’s Central Police University.

Using live fire in a country’s territorial airspace or waters

“can possibly be seen as an act of war,”

Wang warned.

PLA Eastern Theater Command continues joint military operations around Taiwan Island - warplanes taxiing, taking off during joint military operations
China is holding its largest military drills in more than 25 years.
CCTV via Reuters
PLA Eastern Theater Command continues joint military operations around Taiwan Island
Experts warned the drills could be “seen as an act of war.”
CCTV via Reuters
PLA Eastern Theater Command continues joint military operations around Taiwan Island
China called the drills, scheduled to begin on Thursday, “necessary and just.”
CCTV via Reuters

“Such an act equals to sealing off Taiwan by air and sea … and severely violates our country’s territorial sovereignty,”

Taiwanese Capt. Jian-chang Yu said at a briefing by the National Defense Ministry.

Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen insisted Wednesday that the island of 23 million would not be cowed.

“Facing deliberately heightened military threats, Taiwan will not back down,”

Tsai during her meeting with Pelosi.

PLA Eastern Theater Command continues joint military operations around Taiwan Island
The drills are planned to include live fire and test launches of conventional missiles.
CCTV via Reuters
PLA Eastern Theater Command continues joint military operations around Taiwan Island
At least half of the six areas where the drills are planned to take place appear to infringe on Taiwanese waters.
CCTV via Reuters
Chinese tanks
China responded by announcing the largest military drills in the region in more than 25 years, which some experts warned could be “seen as an act of war.”
weibo

“We will firmly uphold our nation’s sovereignty and continue to hold the line of defense for democracy.”

However, Beijing’s Foreign Ministry insisted:

“In the current struggle surrounding Pelosi’s Taiwan visit, the United States are the provocateurs, China is the victim.”

Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Xie Feng also summoned the US ambassador in Beijing, Nicholas Burns, to lodge formal protests of Pelosi’s visit, while China banned some imports from Taiwan, including citrus fruit and fish.

The Chinese military said it conducted “live-fire exercises” near Pingtan island,
The Chinese military said it conducted “live-fire exercises” near Pingtan island.
PLA Eastern Theater Command
The Chinese military said it conducted “live-fire exercises” near Pingtan island,
China called itself “the victim” following Pelosi’s visit.
PLA Eastern Theater Command
The Chinese military said it conducted “live-fire exercises” near Pingtan island,
China’s vice foreign minister also summoned the US ambassador in Beijing to lodge formal protests of Pelosi’s visit.
PLA Eastern Theater Command
The Chinese military said it conducted “live-fire exercises” near Pingtan island,
China banned some imports from Taiwan over Pelosi’s visit.
PLA Eastern Theater Command

Through it all, Pelosi remained defiant, saying she was there to send the

“unequivocal message: America stands with Taiwan.”

“Today the world faces a choice between democracy and autocracy,”

she said in a short speech during the meeting with Tsai.

“America’s determination to preserve democracy, here in Taiwan and around the world, remains ironclad.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen bow Wednesday during a meeting in Taipei.
AP
Nancy Pelosi speaks in Taiwan.
Defiant Pelosi said her trip sent the “unequivocal message: America stands with Taiwan.”
Getty Images

Pelosi’s delegation included Reps. Gregory Meeks (D-NY), chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-Ill.) of the House Intelligence Committee.

The delegation’s next stop will be South Korea before wrapping up its Asian tour in Japan. The lawmakers previously visited Singapore and Malaysia before the unannounced stop in Taiwan.

 

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