China set to launch ‘targeted military operations’ after Nancy Pelosi defies warnings and touches down in Taiwan
The Chinese army has been placed on high alert and will begin “targeted military operations” from Tuesday night local time after US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi ignored Beijing’s warning and arrived into Taiwan.
David WuDigital Reporter
2 min read
August 3, 2022 – 7:15AM23 comments
Nancy Pelosi lands in Taiwan
US Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has arrived in Taiwan as part of her Asia tour. Ms Pelosi’s visit comes despite repeated warnings from China to avoid the island.
Chinese soldiers are set to conduct joint “targeted military operations” in response to US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi touching down into Taiwan overnight.
Pelosi, who is second in the line of succession to the presidency, has started her tour through Asia, which includes stops at Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea and Japan.
She made no mention of a visit to the island prior to departing but it was highly expected as she arrived at Songshan Airport the capital Taipei on Tuesday night.
The US delegation and the 82-year-old were greeted by Taiwan’s Foreign Minister Joseph Wu and Sandra Oudkirk, a top American representative.
Our visit reiterates that America stands with Taiwan: a robust, vibrant democracy and our important partner in the Indo-Pacific. pic.twitter.com/2sSRJXN6ST— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) August 2, 2022
Pelosi, dressed in a baby pink suit, shared a photo to social media of herself, and what is believed to be lawmakers, in front of the US Air Force plane.
“Our visit reiterates that America stands with Taiwan: a robust, vibrant democracy and our important partner in the Indo-Pacific,” she wrote on Twitter.
Beijing has responded to Pelosi’s arrival to the island – which is the first by a US House Speaker in 25 years – by putting its army on high alert.
Chinese warplanes had buzzed along the Taiwan Strait prior to her arrival but now “targeted military operations” will be launched, the Defence Ministry said.
US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi touches down into Taiwan on Tuesday night with her delegation despite warnings from China to avoid the island. Picture: Annabelle Chih/Getty Images
Speaker Pelosi meets with Taiwan’s Foreign Minister Joseph Wu and other officials on Tuesday. Picture: Taiwanese Foreign Ministry / Handout/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
Air and sea drills will begin on Tuesday night local time. Conventional missiles will also be tested in the sea east of Taiwan with live-fire drills from Thursday to Sunday.
Long-range combat fire live shooting in the Taiwan Strait will also be conducted, Senior Colonel Shi Yi and spokesperson for the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) of the Eastern Theatre Command wrote in a statement.
“The spokesperson pointed out that these military operations are the stern deterrence against the major escalation of the US’ negative moves on the Taiwan question, and also the grave warning on the separatist actions of the ‘Taiwan independence’ forces,” it said.
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said “some American politicians are playing with fire on the issue of Taiwan” after Beijing lodged a protest about the trip with the US.
“This will definitely not have a good outcome, the exposure of America’s bullying face again shows it as the world’s biggest saboteur of peace,” he said in a statement.
The Chinese People’s Liberation Army has been placed on high alert with live drills and testing to be conducted this week in response to Pelosi’s visit. Picture: Getty Images
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying told the daily press conference on Tuesday that a trip by Speaker Pelosi will see Beijing respond with “strong and resolute measures to protect our sovereignty and security interests”.
“China and the US have maintained close communication in Beijing and in Washington at different levels and through different channels,” she said.
“And we have repeatedly and unmistakably expressed to the US side our firm opposition to Speaker Pelosi’s potential visit to Taiwan.
“And we hope that the US officials are clear about the importance and sensitivity of this issue and the potential danger in the event of this visit.”
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Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian warned one day earlier the PLA “will never sit idly by” if it felt it was being threatened.
Beijing has repeatedly flagged in the past a visit would lead to “serious consequences” and warned “those who play with fire will perish by it”.
It has also stressed Washington is in “serious violation” of the one-China policy, which declares there is only one Chinese government and Taiwan is part of its territory.
Local supporters cheered as Speaker Pelosi arrived to her hotel by motorcade under police escort. She is expected to hold meetings with Taiwanese officials on Wednesday.
Taiwan’s tallest building, Taipei 101, was lit up with warm messages, such as: “Welcome to Taiwan Speaker Pelosi” and “Taiwan (heart) USA”.
Other residents feared the trip could lead to a war and protested with signs that read “ugly American” and “we want peace”.