taiwan pelosi protest

Tuesday’s protest in Taiwan. Photo: Fan Lingzhi/Global Times

Civic groups, politicians, and business and industry representatives on the island of Taiwan on Tuesday protested against U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit, amid China’s missile drill.

Protest

Media reports said:

The Taipei-based Chinese Patriotic Concentric Association took to the street at a site near the Grand Hyatt hotel in the Xinyi district, where Pelosi was planned to stay. The crowd ranged from a few hundred to about 1,000 people from various civic groups.

Gu Xijun, the vice president of the above group, told the Global Times that the protests and boycotts “will accompany Pelosi wherever she appears in Taiwan.”

Zhang Xiuye, another Taiwan resident who has participated in the rally, told the Global Times that U.S. politicians constantly create cross-Straits tensions and use Taiwan as their ATM.

“If we do not warn the Yanks in Taiwan, then we will be like Tsai Ing-wen who is acquiescing to the Yanks,” she said. “Both sides of the Taiwan Straits are one family, and we can sit down and talk without the Yanks interfering. We sincerely hope for early reunification.”

Wu Cherng-dean, chairman of the pro-reunification New Party, said on Tuesday that the party is firmly opposed to Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan, saying that Pelosi is “harmful to Taiwan without bringing any benefits.”
Wu said that Pelosi’s visit would push Taiwan into a fire and turn the island into a battlefield.

Taiwan-based media reported that several groups will hold protest rallies at the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT), Songshan Airport and the Grand Hyatt Hotel during Pelosi’s visit.

A number of Taiwan civic groups gathered in front of the AIT as early as Monday afternoon, with hundreds of people holding placards with slogans such as “American witch get out of Taiwan, China,” and “get out, trouble maker Nancy Pelosi!” after U.S. and Taiwan-based media disclosed that Pelosi is expected to land in Taipei on Tuesday evening and stay in Taipei overnight.

Lin Por-fong, director of Taiwan’s “The Third Wednesday Club,” a Taipei-based business group with about 80 company members, said that Taiwan should “bravely refuse Pelosi’s visit” to avoid being involved in disputes, including a war, local media udn.com reported on Tuesday.

“Peace and stability across the Taiwan Straits and in the Asia-Pacific region form the cornerstone of Taiwan’s economic development,” said Hsu Shu-po, chairman of Taiwan’s “Chamber of Commerce,” in a statement on Tuesday. He said there is no tangible benefit to Taiwan from this visit.

Chiu Yi, a Taiwan-based cross-Straits expert, told the Global Times on Tuesday that rational Taiwan residents know the seriousness of the situation and will be deeply disturbed.

“Pelosi talks about supporting Taiwan but is actually a disaster maker. Her visit may create the most serious cross-Straits crisis in decades,” said Chiu, who has urged Tsai to publicly announce that Pelosi is not welcomed by the island.

Chiu said that because the political party DPP member and former Hsinchu mayor Lin Chih-chien was mired in thesis plagiarism allegations, the DPP is facing a disadvantage in the upcoming local election. Therefore, Tsai is keen to use Pelosi’s visit to stir up “anti-China populism,” the way she did during the social unrest in Hong Kong in 2019.

“The DPP may gain at the ballot box, but its gains are not solid, as in the event of a military conflict, its incremental gains will turn negative,” Chang Ya-chung, the president of the Sun Yat-sen School in Taiwan and a member of Taiwan’s major opposition party KMT, told the Global Times on Tuesday.

Cancelling Pelosi’s Visit Was Considered, But Taiwan Is Just A U.S. Pawn

Taiwan-based media China Times said on Tuesday that the DPP authorities considered cancelling the visit, but Pelosi insisted.

“It once again proved that Taiwan is just a pawn of the U.S. and has no right to agree or disagree,” Chang said.

The island has also become a chessboard, on which confrontation and conflict between Chinese mainland and the U.S. occurs, Chang said, noting that however, it is Taiwan that will have to bear the consequences.

According to China Times, former head of the KMT Hung Hsiu-chu said on Tuesday that it is now the seventh month of the lunar calendar, when many ghosts and monsters may appear in traditional tales. “God bless, it is better not to have anything happen.”

Hung mocked that after Pelosi’s arrival, the DPP authorities can receive her with a “taste of home” with high standards, including ractopamine-enhanced pork imported from the U.S.

taiwan map

A sketch map shows the six regions where the PLA will conduct live-fire drills surrounding the Taiwan island from August 4 to 7, 2022. Photo: Xinhua

PLA’s Massive Military And Missile Drills

Reports by China’s media including Xinhua said:

China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA), on the night that Pelosi landed in Taiwan for her provocative visit that violates the U.S. promise of opposing “Taiwan independence” secessionism, launched massive military drills around the island of Taiwan, including a long-range live fire drill in the Taiwan Straits and a live fire conventional missile drill to the east of the island, with analysts saying China is not merely targeting a visiting 82-year-old U.S. politician, but is eyeing the anti-secession campaign against the secessionist Taiwan authorities and is to concretely speed up the reunification process.

The military drills, set to begin on Thursday, after Pelosi’s departure, will take place in six large maritime areas and their air space all around Taiwan.

Immediately after Pelosi’s plane landed in Taipei on Tuesday evening, the PLA Eastern Theater Command announced it will start a series of joint military operations around the island of Taiwan starting Tuesday evening.

Joint maritime and air exercises will be held in sea and air spaces to the north, southwest and southeast of the island of Taiwan, long-range live-fire shooting will be held in the Taiwan Straits, and conventional missile test launches will be held to the east of the island of Taiwan, Senior Colonel Shi Yi, a spokesperson at the PLA Eastern Theater Command, said in a statement on Tuesday.

This means the island of Taiwan will be surrounded by PLA drills in five directions.

The joint maritime and air exercises in the north, southwest and southeast will likely hone the capabilities of warplanes and warships to seize air superiority and control of the sea; the long-range live-fire shooting in the Taiwan Straits will likely feature long-range multiple rocket launchers that can strike targets on Taiwan island directly from the mainland; the conventional missile test launches to the east of the island means that, if the missiles were launched from the mainland, they would fly over the island of Taiwan, analysts said.

It is also possible that the missiles will be launched from the PLA Navy vessels that are sailing to the east of the island, said military experts, noting that the move will target the external forces that try to intervene in the reunification process from the east.

The operation is a stern deterrence against the recent U.S. negative move and major escalation on the Taiwan question, as well as a serious warning for “Taiwan independence” secessionist forces’ attempt to seek “independence,” Shi said.

Gu Zhong, deputy chief of staff of the PLA Eastern Theater Command, said that the drills involve courses like joint blockade, sea assault, land attack and air superiority seizing plus live-fire shooting of precision weapons.

Just as Pelosi’s flight was about to land, a Su-35 fighter jet of the PLA Air Force was flying across the Taiwan Straits. Observers said that the PLA aircraft’s activity could be part of the drills.

The drills are also rehearsals for the PLA to reunify the island by force, experts said, noting that missiles could fly over the island.
For safety reasons, entering of vessels and aircraft to those sea and air space is prohibited, Xinhua said.

The report did not give more details on the drills, but experts said that more realistic combat-oriented training courses like the drills that started on Tuesday are expected, including those featuring aircraft carriers.

The PLA Navy’s aircraft carrier Liaoning on Sunday embarked on a voyage from its homeport in Qingdao, East China’s Shandong Province, and the aircraft carrier Shandong on Monday set out from its homeport in Sanya, South China’s Hainan Province, accompanied by a Type 075 amphibious assault ship, media on the island of Taiwan reported on Tuesday.

A report by state broadcaster China Central Television on Saturday revealed for the first time a scene in which what seems to be a DF-17 hypersonic missile was fired. The missile, despite its hypersonic characteristics, is a conventional weapon.

The drills aim to enhance combat preparedness over the Taiwan question, Song Zhongping, a Chinese mainland military expert and TV commentator, told the Global Times on Tuesday.

Taiwan Accuses Beijing Of Air And Sea Blockade

Taiwan’s defense officials have accused Beijing of seeking to “invade” the island’s territorial waters and airspace, after China announced a series of “targeted military operations” in response to Pelosi’s visit to Taipei.

Military officials in Taipei claimed on Wednesday that several exclusion zones around the island, where China intends to conduct live-fire drills and other military exercises later this week, overlap with “Taiwan’s territorial space.”

According to the Guardian, a military spokesman accused Beijing of violating “UN rules” with what would amount to a de facto “blockade of Taiwan’s air and sea space.”

Accusing Beijing of waging “psychological warfare on Taiwan and citizens” Taipei vowed to “firmly defend its national security” and boost its military preparedness to the highest level, while adhering to the “principle of not asking for a war.”

China’s Options

Analysts said there are many options on the table for China to speed up the reunification process. Apart from military drills, the options could include striking Taiwan military targets, just as the PLA did in the previous Taiwan Straits crisis, pushing new legislation for national reunification, sending military aircraft and vessels to enter the island’s “airspace” and “water areas” controlled by the Taiwan authorities and ending the tacit cease-fire with the Taiwan military.

Shortly after Pelosi arrived at Taipei’s Songshan Airport, five Chinese authorities including the Chinese Foreign Ministry, Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress, Taiwan Affairs Office of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, Foreign Affairs Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference National Committee and the Ministry of National Defense issued statements condemning the visit, which seriously damages the political foundation of China-US relations and sends a seriously wrong message to “Taiwan independence” forces.

China will definitely take all necessary measures to resolutely safeguard its sovereignty and territorial integrity in response to the U.S. Speaker’s visit. All the consequences must be borne by the U.S. and the “Taiwan independence” separatist forces, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said in the statement.
The secessionist DPP authority colluded with the external forces and insisted on inviting Pelosi to Taiwan, which is extremely dangerous and will trigger severe consequences.

New Status Quo
Chinese analysts said the struggle between China and the U.S. at this point is about dignity and concrete strategic interests, but the latter is much more important, so China will not merely focus on playing a game of chicken and hawk with Pelosi, as changing the whole situation of the region is much more significant and valuable.

Lü Xiang, a research fellow at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times on Tuesday that China’s reaction will not just be a momentary action but will consider the whole security mechanism of Taiwan.

Because of Pelosi’s arrival at the Taipei airport that totally ignored China’s warning, it is certain that the status quo of the Taiwan Straits situation has been broken, and China will make it enter a new status quo, Lü stressed.

Strategic Patience

The Chinese mainland really knows the importance of “strategic patience,” just like when many people expected that China would crack down on the Hong Kong turmoil in 2019 with force when rioters attacked the central government’s liaison office, but the facts prove that China did not act in that way but eventually realized a land-slide victory to reinforce its governance in Hong Kong. “So this time, China will teach the U.S. a lesson again, as it will use U.S. mistakes to comprehensively change the Taiwan Straits situation, just as it did in Hong Kong in recent years,” said a Beijing-based senior expert on international relations who asked for anonymity.

Strengthen Sovereignty Claim

Wang Jiangyu, a professor of law at the City University in Hong Kong, said China will use this incident to strengthen its sovereignty claim over Taiwan. “For instance, sending squadrons of military aircraft to enter the ‘airspace’ of Taiwan, or sending military vessels to enter the ‘water areas’ controlled by the Taiwan military,” he said.
These are unprecedented acts of declaring sovereignty over Taiwan, and if China can send its tough signal of determination to effectively contain the provocations made by the U.S. and other Western countries, the situation will be in favor of the Chinese side in the future, Wang said.

Song said the mainland could also consider speeding up legislation for a national reunification law and even publish a timetable for reunification which will impose real pressure on the U.S. and Taiwan authorities.

U.S. – The Biggest Destroyer of Peace

Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi issued a statement Wednesday morning condemning U.S. intrusion of China’s sovereignty. Pelosi blatantly visited the island in disregard of China’s solemn representations, which is a serious violation of the one-China principle and malicious violation of China’s sovereignty, Wang said.
Such blatant political provocation aroused the strong indignation of the Chinese people and widespread opposition from the international community. This once again proves that some U.S. politicians have become “troublemakers” in China-U.S. relations, and the U.S. has become the “biggest destroyer” of peace and regional stability in the Taiwan Straits, Wang said.

The statement came after Pelosi landed in Taiwan for her provocative visit.

Four Fantasies

Wang urged the U.S. to stop four fantasies, namely the fantasy of interfering in China’s reunification process, of sabotaging China’s development, of manipulating the geopolitical situation, and of confusing right and wrong. Taiwan is part of China, and realizing the reunification is the historical trend that is inevitable, Wang noted. We will never leave any room for the “Taiwan independence” secessionist forces or for the external forces to interfere.

No matter in what way the U.S. supports and condones “Taiwan independence” secessionists, it will be doomed to fail, and it will only leave more ugly records of the U.S. grossly interfering in other countries’ internal affairs, Wang said.

This is the second statement of Wang on the issue within 24 hours. On Tuesday evening just a few hours ahead of the planned arrival of Pelosi in Taiwan island, Wang stressed China’s solemn position, warning that some U.S. politicians who selfishly play with fire on the Taiwan question will become the enemies to 1.4 billion Chinese people, and would not meet with a good end.

The U.S. has introduced the Taiwan question into its regional strategy and provoked confrontation, which acts against the trend of the regional development and expectation of people from the Asia-Pacific region, Wang said, noting that it is very dangerous and stupid.

The one-China principle has become a basic norm in international relations and constitutes an integral part of the post-World War II international order. What the US needs to do is to immediately stop violating the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, and immediately stop playing the Taiwan card and disrupting the Asia-Pacific, the Chinese official said.

The fundamental basis of the peace and stability of the Taiwan Straits is the one-China principle, and the true guardrails for peaceful China-US relations is the three China-U.S. joint communiqués. Any attempts of collusion with the US to seek “Taiwan independence” will meet a dead end and using Taiwan island to contain China is doomed to fail, Wang said.

We Mean What We Say

On late Tuesday night, China’s Vice Foreign Minister Xie Feng summoned U.S. Ambassador to China Nicholas Burns to protest against Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan island, stressing that the nature of Pelosi’s visit is extremely vicious and the consequences are very grave. The Chinese side will not sit idly by.

Xie said the U.S. must pay the price for its own mistake. China will take necessary and resolute countermeasures and we mean what we say.

China’s Protest
Chinese Ambassador to the U.S. Qin Gang also lodged solemn representations and strong protests with the U.S. National Security Council and the Department of State over Pelosi’s visit.

Another report said:

China has suspended import of citrus fruit and frozen fish from Taiwan.

Russia Stands In ‘Absolute Solidarity’ With China, Says Kremlin

Russia regards the visit of US House of Representatives Speaker Pelosi to Taiwan as a “purely provocative” act and fully supports China in its dispute with Washington, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said during a press conference on Tuesday.

“We see this, it is being recorded by all countries of the world. We stand in absolute solidarity with China here. Its sensitivity to this issue is understandable. It is justified. And instead of respecting this the U.S. is choosing the path of confrontation. It does not bode well,” the Kremlin spokesman said, adding that Washington’s decision is “only regrettable.”

Russia’s Borders Would Be Secured

Peskov also noted that in the event that a military conflict breaks out as a result of the ongoing tensions between China and the U.S. over Taiwan, Russia’s borders would be secured by its own army.

“Regardless of the emergence of some provocative situations, the security of our borders is reliably ensured along the entire perimeter of these borders by the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation,” said Peskov.


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