0811: Taiwan Foreign Minister’s Remarks on China’s Military Provocations; Taiwan Vows to Stay Vigilant After Chinese Drills

China’s Drills Around Taiwan Are Invasion Practice: Taiwan’s Foreign Minister

China is using military drills to prepare for an invasion of Taiwan, and its anger over U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan is just a pretext, Taiwan’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu said on August 9, accusing China of “gross violations of international law.”

“China has used the drills in its military playbook to prepare for the invasion of Taiwan,” Wu said at a news conference in Taipei.

China “is conducting large-scale military exercises and missile launches, as well as cyberattacks, disinformation and economic coercion, in an attempt to weaken public morale in Taiwan,” he added.

He said the Chinese People’s Liberation Army’s (PLA) activities would have taken far longer to prepare if they were a direct response to Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan.

China’s tactics, including the firing of ballistic missiles, were “clearly trying to deter other countries from interfering in its attempt to invade Taiwan,” and showed that it has much broader geostrategic intentions, he said.

“China’s real intention is to alter the ‘status quo’ in the Taiwan Strait and the entire region,” Wu added.

“China has openly declared ownership over the Taiwan Strait,” one of the world’s busiest shipping routes, and “aims to influence the international community’s freedom of navigation in the waters and airspace” by controlling the waterway linking the East and South China Seas, he said.

In the past week, the PLA has conducted more than 100 sea and air crossings of the median line of the Taiwan Strait, constituting “specific action to break the long-standing tacit agreement,” Wu said, adding that China may try to “routinize its actions” to wreck the long-term status quo.

“Its intentions are not likely to end there,” he said, noting China’s security agreement with the Solomon Islands and its influence across the Pacific, southeast Asia, Africa and Latin America.

“China’s continued attempt to intimidate Taiwan will not panic us, nor will they defeat us. To Taiwan, the values of freedom and democracy cannot be taken away; they are built into our DNA,” he said.

“Taiwan will continue to defend its sovereignty, its freedom, democracy, and prosperity. We also hope that the international community will support Taiwan in unison and put a stop to China’s irresponsible threats and ambitious expansion, and jointly safeguard a free and open, stable and prosperous Indo-Pacific,” Wu concluded.

[1] Minister Joseph Wu’s Full Remarks (August 9): https://en.mofa.gov.tw/News_Content.aspx?n=1328&sms=273&s=98292
[2] Taipei Times: https://www.taipeitimes.com/News/front/archives/2022/08/10/2003783272

Taiwan Vows to Stay Vigilant After Chinese Military Drills Conclude, While Pelosi Says U.S. Cannot Allow China’s “New Normal” over Taiwan

On August 10, Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense (MND) said it would remain on high alert following an announcement by the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) indicating its military drills around Taiwan concluded earlier that day.

Furious at a 19-hour visit to Taiwan by U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi from August 2 to 3, China had extended its largest-ever military exercises in six maritime zones around Taiwan beyond the four days originally scheduled from August 4 to 7.

Last week, China’s military launched ballistic missiles, some of which flew over Taiwan’s capital of Taipei, to simulate long-range precision attacks targeting designated areas in northern, southern, central and eastern Taiwan.

During the drills, the PLA also deployed large numbers of fighter planes and warships around Taiwan in simulations of sea and air attacks in surrounding skies and waters.

On August 10 alone, 36 sorties by Chinese aircraft and 10 by PLA warships had been detected close to the Taiwan Strait median line by 5 p.m., Taiwan’s MND said.

Of those intruding aircraft, 17 breached the Taiwan Strait median line — nine S-30s and eight J-11s — in what the Chinese PLA called “joint air and sea operations,” the MND added.

Earlier on August 10, the PLA said its joint military operations around Taiwan had “successfully completed various tasks and effectively tested the integrated combat capabilities of the troops,” signaling an end to days of military drills but also that China would keep up its military pressure against Taiwan.

In response to a PLA’s earlier statement on August 8 that the Chinese military exercises around Taiwan would “become routine,” the MND said Taiwan’s military would remain vigilant and flexibly deploy troops based on the level of threat posed by the PLA and the tactics it employs.

Meanwhile, on August 9, U.S. House Speaker Pelosi defended her trip to Taiwan as “absolutely” worth it and said that the United States “cannot allow the Chinese government to isolate Taiwan.” “They’re not going to say who can go to Taiwan,” she added.

On August 10, Pelosi emphasized that the U.S. could not allow China to normalize a new level of pressure on Taiwan it asserted with days of military drills.

“What we saw with China is that they were trying to establish sort of a new normal. And we just can’t let that happen,” Pelosi told a news conference with four other Democratic House members who accompanied her on the trip to Asia.

[1] Focus Taiwan: https://focustaiwan.tw/politics/202208100023
[2] Reuters: https://www.reuters.com/world/asia-pacific/china-extends-military-drills-around-taiwan-after-pelosi-visit-2022-08-10/
[3] Focus Taiwan: https://focustaiwan.tw/cross-strait/202208080017
[4] Reuters: https://www.reuters.com/world/asia-pacific/pelosi-says-us-cannot-allow-china-isolate-taiwan-2022-08-09/
[5] Reuters: https://www.reuters.com/world/asia-pacific/pelosi-us-cannot-allow-chinas-new-normal-over-taiwan-2022-08-10/