US foreign policy: Pelosi visit: Taiwan fears blockade from China's maneuvers

Taiwan fears a sea and air blockade as a result of China's announced maneuvers around the democratic island republic.

US foreign policy: Pelosi visit: Taiwan fears blockade from China's maneuvers

Taiwan fears a sea and air blockade as a result of China's announced maneuvers around the democratic island republic. According to the CNA news agency, the Taiwanese military also spoke of a "serious violation" of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and a violation of the country's sovereignty.

In response to the visit of Speaker of the US House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi to Taiwan, the People's Liberation Army had announced target practice maneuvers around the island and near the coast by Sunday, declaring six restricted areas.

Highest visit for 25 years

Pelosi's visit to Taiwan is the highest from the US in a quarter century. Beijing claims power over Taiwan and only sees the island as part of the People's Republic. China therefore strictly rejects official contacts from other countries to Taipei and had vehemently warned the USA against Pelosi's trip to Taiwan.

The maneuvers are the biggest military muscle flexing since the 1995 missile crisis, when China fired missiles over Taiwan to intimidate and the US deployed two aircraft carrier groups.

The goal of the feared blockade was also reflected in the influential Chinese commentator and former editor-in-chief of the party-affiliated newspaper "Global Times", Hu Xijin, in a tweet: "The waterways of Taiwan's most important ports will be blocked during the exercises." That's what Pelosi's visit to Taiwan "brought into".

Taiwan's transport ministry has already consulted with Japan and the Philippines to determine alternative shipping routes while the maneuvers are held. Consultations were also held with Taiwan's aviation and maritime authorities on how to react.

Pelosi pledges support to Taiwan

Nancy Pelosi has meanwhile flown on to the next stop on her Asia trip in South Korea. The top US politician had previously met human rights activists in Taipei, including Wuer Kaixi, the former leader of the democracy movement in China, which was brutally crushed in 1989.

Earlier, Pelosi pledged US support to Taiwan in the face of the Chinese threat. At a joint press conference with President Tsai Ing-wen in Taipei, the US leader said the US will "always stand by Taiwan's side." The visit of the congress delegation to Taiwan shows "that we will not give up our obligations towards Taiwan".

Referring to Beijing's communist leadership's threats against Taiwan, Pelosi said, "More than ever, American solidarity is crucial." That is the message of the visit of their congress delegation.

US support for Taiwan is bipartisan. "Today the world faces a choice between democracy and autocracy," Pelosi said, praising Taiwan as "one of the freest societies in the world."

Taiwan's President: "Taiwan will not back down"

Taiwan's president said Russia's invasion of Ukraine drew international attention to the conflict with China over Taiwan. The situation in the Taiwan Strait has implications for security in the Asia-Pacific region. "Taiwan will not back down," Tsai said, noting the threat from China. "We will do whatever is necessary to strengthen our self-defense capabilities."

After her visit to Taiwan, the Speaker of the US House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, flew on to South Korea on Wednesday for the next stop on her trip to Asia. The top US politician had previously met human rights activists in Taipei, including Wuer Kaixi, the former leader of the democracy movement in China, which was brutally crushed in 1989.

Her visit was the highest-ranking from the United States to the island's democratic republic in a quarter of a century. Pelosi met with President Tsai Ing-Wen and members of Parliament. The visit sparked tensions as Beijing claims power over Taiwan and sees the island as part of the People's Republic. China therefore strictly rejects official contacts from other countries to Taipei and had vehemently warned the USA against Pelosi's trip to Taiwan.

In addition to Wuer Kaixi, Pelosi also met former Hong Kong bookseller Lam Wing-kee and social activist Lee Ming-chee, both imprisoned in China, at the Jingmei Human Rights and Cultural Park south of Taipei. Lee Ming-che had just returned to Taiwan from China after serving a five-year prison sentence for "undermining state power."

Participants reported that the discussion, in which other human rights representatives also took part, dealt with the question of how human rights could be promoted in China, Hong Kong and especially in the Xinjiang region.

Meanwhile, China's military threats have raised concern in Japan. The area near Taiwan, where China is planning maneuvers from Thursday, overlaps with Japan's exclusive economic zone, Japan's government spokesman Hirokazu Matsuno said, according to the Kyodo news agency. Concerns have been communicated to Beijing. Japan is a key US ally.

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