Pelosi-Taiwan latest updates: China announces military drills

Pelosi-Taiwan latest updates: China announces military drills
Pelosi-Taiwan latest updates: China announces military drills
  • US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi lands in Taiwan.
  • The US sends warships east of Taiwan, increasing military activity ahead of Pelosi’s visit.
  • Chinese planes fly close to the median line dividing the Taiwan Strait, as do Chinese warships, Reuters reports.
  • Russia calls the prospect of Pelosi’s visit “purely provocative” and an attempt to pressure China.
INTERACTIVE- Nancy Pelosi Taiwan map

This live blog is now closed, thank you for joining us. These were the updates on US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan on Tuesday, August 2:

China’s military reaction ‘predictable’ so far: Expert

China sending planes to Taiwan’s defence zone is “quite predictable”, Divya Gopalan, international editor TaiwanPlus, told Al Jazeera. “The question is, will those planes go further into bonafide Taiwan airspace, then, that will set a precedent and very clearly send a message,” Gopalan said.

“There are questions about whether they would even dare fly over Taiwan’s soil, if that’s the case, that would ratchet up tensions,” she said.


Biden ‘respects’ Pelosi’s decision to visit Taiwan: WH

In response to a reporter’s question about whether US President Joe Biden supports Pelosi’s trip to Taiwan, John Kirby, the White House’s National Security Council coordinator for strategic communications, said:

“The President as a former senator, fully respects, the right and the prerogative, frankly, the responsibility of members of Congress to include the Speaker of the House to travel overseas.”

Pelosi positioned as a freedom fighter

Al Jazeera’s Shihab Rattansi speaking from Washington, DC, said by visiting Taiwan, Pelosi was being portrayed as a “freedom fighter” for democracy.

“As soon as she arrived, various tweets, articles, statements emerged positioning Pelosi as a freedom fighter in the battle against autocracy on behalf of democracy,” he said, which she likened to her trip to Ukraine back in May.

China planning ‘unprecedented’ military exercises: Expert

Taylor Fravel, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology expert on China’s military, said China’s planned exercises appear as though they may be greater in scope than during a Taiwan Strait crisis in 1995 and 1996.

“Taiwan will face military exercises and missile tests from its north, south, east and west. This is unprecedented,” Fravel said.


Democratic Senator Joe Manchin backs Pelosi

Democratic Senator Joe Manchin from West Virginia has said that he does not view Pelosi’s trip as a “big deal”.

“I think it’s great,” he said. “They are a peace-loving, they’re a freedom loving country. And we do an awful lot of trade with them,” Manchin told reporters.

“She didn’t take anything to do them harm, and she doesn’t wish China any harm,” he said.


  • ‘Like a hero’: People in Taiwan welcome Pelosi

    Pan Kuan, a 30-year-old English teacher gathered Pelosi’s hotel, said the House speaker “is like a hero” for coming to Taiwan and defying China.

    “I think this has encouraged all the Taiwanese people. Although there was great pressure from China, she still chose the camp with democracy and freedom, and courageously came to Taiwan,” Kuan told The Associated Press. “She is like a hero. She courageously fought China’s pressure. I think that takes some courage to do so.”

    Demonstrators take part in a protest against US Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi’s visit, in Taipei, Taiwan [Ann Wang/Reuters]

    Taiwan’s FM thanks Pelosi for visit

    Taiwan’s foreign ministry thanked Pelosi for her visit and published pictures from the airport in a post on social media.

    “Thank you & the congressional delegation for traveling all the way to show support,” the tweet read.

    Chinese aircraft enter Taiwan’s defence zone: Reports

    Quoting Taiwan’s defence ministry, the Reuters news agency reported that 21 Chinese aircraft have entered Taiwan’s defence zone.

    Russia says China has right to take measures to protect sovereignty

    In a statement, Russia’s foreign ministry has said China has the right to take measures to protect its sovereignty.

    Earlier, Moscow called Pelosi’s trip a “provocation” and warned that it would put the US on a collision course with China.

    Top Republican leader backs Pelosi visit

    In a rare show of bipartisan support, Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell said he backed Pelosi’s visit as a display of support for Taiwan’s democracy. He said any allegations that her itinerary was provocative are “utterly absurd”.

    “I believe she has every right to go,” McConnell said in a Senate speech.


    China’s FM calls Pelosi visit a ‘serious violation’

    China’s foreign ministry has issued a statement calling Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan “a serious violation of the one-China principle”.

    “It has a severe impact on the political foundation of China-U.S. relations, and seriously infringes upon China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity,” according to the statement. “It gravely undermines peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait, and sends a seriously wrong signal to the separatist forces for ‘Taiwan independence’.”


    Pelosi arrives in hotel

    Pelosi has arrived at a hotel in Taipei, The Associated Press reported.

    Protesters gathered outside the hotel where US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is supposed to be staying in Taipei, Taiwan [Chiang Ying-ying/AP]

    US senator: We can’t let Chinese dictate Pelosi trip

    Alaska’s Republican Senator Dan Sullivan says it is important to support Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan, because “you do not want the Chinese Communist Party dictating to senior American leaders where they can and cannot travel.”

    “We’re supporting the trip and we’re closing ranks behind her,” Sullivan said during a news conference.

    Chinese ‘hacktivists’ likely to blame for attacks on Taiwan websites: Researchers

    Digital attacks against Taiwanese government websites before Pelosi’s arrival in Taiwan were likely launched by Chinese activist hackers, or “hacktivists”, a cybersecurity research organisation has said.

    “These are uncoordinated, random, moral-less attacks against websites that Chinese hacktivists use to get their message across,” said Johannes Ullrich, Dean of Research at the SANS Technology Institute, a cybersecurity education and research organisation.

    “Usually, it continues for a few days, but they often lose interest within a week. Many of the attacks are motivated by what is written in the Chinese press,” Ullrich added.

    China to launch ‘targeted military operations’

    The Chinese military has been put on high alert and will launch “targeted military operations” in response to Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan, China’s defence ministry said.

    Separately, the People’s Liberation Army’s Eastern Theatre Command said it will conduct joint military operations near Taiwan starting on Tuesday night, and will test-launch conventional missiles in the sea east of Taiwan.

    Senate Republicans show support for Pelosi’s visit

    A group of 26 Senate Republicans have issued statement saying in support of Pelosi’s Taiwan visit.

    The group includes Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell.

    Iran condemns ‘destabilising’ Pelosi trip

    Iran’s foreign ministry on Tuesday condemned Pelosi’s trip, saying unilateralism and violating international rules have become common practice in US foreign policy.

    Foreign ministry spokesman Nasser Kanani said in a statement the trip constitutes an “intervention in the domestic affairs” of China and a “violation of its territorial integrity” that will lead to nothing but increasing destabilisation and differences.

    “The Islamic Republic of Iran views respect for the territorial integrity of other countries as a basis of its foreign policy, and supporting the One China policy within this framework is indubitable,” he said.


    Pelosi to meet Taiwan’s President

    Pelosi is due to meet Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen on Wednesday, and have lunch with her, Tsai’s office said, according to the Reuters news agency.

    Four sources told Reuters Pelosi was also scheduled on Wednesday afternoon to meet a group of activists who are outspoken about China’s human rights record.


    ‘We must stand by Taiwan’ Pelosi writes in opinion piece

    Pelosi says her visit to Taiwan does not contradict the “long-standing one-China policy”  in an opinion piece published by The Washington Post shortly after she landed in Taiwan.

    The 1979 Taiwan Relations Act “set out America’s commitment to a democratic Taiwan”, she wrote, citing its text that anything other than  peaceful means to determine the future of Taiwan is “a threat to the peace and security of the Western Pacific area and of grave concern to the United States”.

    Pelosi says China has intensified tensions with Taiwan in recent years.

    “The People’s Republic of China (PRC) has ramped up patrols of bombers, fighter jets and surveillance aircraft near and even over Taiwan’s air defense zone, leading the U.S. Defense Department to conclude that China’s army is “likely preparing for a contingency to unify Taiwan with the PRC by force”, she wrote.

    Pelosi on tarmac
    US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is greeted by Taiwan’s Foreign Minister Joseph Wu shortly after landing in Taipei, Taiwan [Taiwan Ministry of Foreign Affairs via AP]

    Pelosi says her trip to highlight Taiwan’s ‘vibrant Democracy’

    Shortly after landing in Taiwan, Pelosi published a short statement saying the the visit is meant to highlight the US’s “unwavering commitment to supporting Taiwan’s vibrant Democracy”.

    “America’s solidarity with the 23 million people of Taiwan is more important today than ever, as the world faces a choice between autocracy and democracy,” she said according to the statement.

    Pelosi lands in Taiwan

    Pelosi’s plane has touched down in Taiwan and the US house speaker has descended the steps onto the tarmac in the dark.

    While she was met by Taiwan’s foreign minister, there did not appear to be an official ceremony, although Pelosi posed for photographs on the tarmac, and waved at those who had gathered.

    A US military aircraft with US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on board prepares to land
    A US military aircraft with US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on board prepares to land at Sungshan Airport in Taipei, Taiwan Pelosi [Sam Yeh/AFP]

    Pelosi’s plane leaves Malaysia

    A plane believed to be carrying Pelosi and her delegation left Malaysia at 07:42 GMT Tuesday after a brief stop there that included a working lunch with Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob.

    Taiwanese media reported that Pelosi would arrive in Taiwan on Tuesday night. The United Daily News, Liberty Times and China Times — Taiwan’s three largest national newspapers — cited unidentified sources as saying she would spend the night in Taiwan.


    China vows to retaliate

    Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said Washington’s betrayal “on the Taiwan issue is bankrupting its national credibility”.

    “Some American politicians are playing with fire on the issue of Taiwan,” Wang said in a statement. “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.”

    Russia backs China in slamming Pelosi’s visit

    Russia has backed China over Pelosi’s expected visit to Taiwan, calling it “provocative”.

    “We cannot say for sure right now whether she will or will not get there, but everything about this tour and the possible visit to Taiwan is purely provocative,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters Tuesday.

    Heightened security and cyberattacks

    Barricades were erected outside the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Taipei where Pelosi was expected to stay amid heightened security.

    Unspecified hackers launched a cyberattack on the Taiwanese presidential office’s website, making it temporarily unavailable Tuesday evening. The presidential office said the website was restored shortly after the attack, which overwhelmed it with traffic.

What do you think?

Written by colinnew

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

EU says Novavax COVID shot must carry heart side-effect warning

EU says Novavax COVID shot must carry heart side-effect warning

Twitter Censors Pfizer-Injured Israeli COVID Vaccine Director

Twitter Censors Pfizer-Injured Israeli COVID Vaccine Director