China is using military drills to prepare for an invasion of Taiwan, and its anger over US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit is just an excuse, Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) said yesterday.
Speaking in English at a news conference in Taipei, Wu accused China of “gross violations of international law.”
“China has used the drills in its military playbook to prepare for the invasion of Taiwan,” he said. “It 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.”
Photo: Tu Chien-jung, Taipei Times
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.
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.
Beijing has declared ownership of the Taiwan Strait, one of the world’s busiest shipping routes, and aims to influence the international community’s freedom of travel by controlling the stretch of water linking the Yellow Sea to the South China Sea, he said.
In the past week, the PLA has conducted more than 100 sea and air crossings of the median line, constituting “specific action to break the long-standing tacit agreement,” Wu said, adding that it would probably now try to “routinize its actions.”
“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.
Continuing cyberattacks over the past week have also been traced to China and Russia, Wu said, adding that the authorities remained on “high alert,” but would not be cowed.
“China’s continued attempt to intimidate Taiwan will not panic us, nor will they defeat us. The values of freedom and democracy cannot be taken away,” he said.
Taiwan began its own scheduled live-fire military drills yesterday in Pingtung County, designed to simulate defensive operations against an attack.
Chinese vessels reportedly continued to run missions off Taiwan’s east coast and in the Strait yesterday, as median line crossings by PLA warplanes also continued.
Asked if China was trying to lure Taiwan’s allies in response to Pelosi’s visit, Wu reiterated that the nation’s diplomatic ties with its 14 allies are stable.
Wu said that some senior officials and heads of state from allied nations are planning to visit Taiwan soon to show their support amid rising cross-strait tensions.
He did not give further details, citing only the example of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves, who arrived in Taiwan on Sunday for a six-day visit.
Additional reporting by CNA and Reuters
MORE ARRIVALS ALLOWED: Taiwan yesterday increased its cap on arrivals to 60,000 from 50,000 ahead of a full border opening with a weekly cap of 150,000 on Oct. 13 Travelers arriving in Taiwan from Oct. 13 would no longer be required to quarantine on arrival and visitors of all nationalities would be allowed to enter, Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) announced yesterday. However, the number of arrivals would be capped at 150,000 per week, he added. Travelers aged two or older would be given four rapid antigen COVID-19 test kits on arrival and be asked to monitor their health for seven days, Cabinet spokesman Lo Ping-cheng (羅秉成) told a news conference. Under the new arrival protocol, travelers would have to take a test on the day of arrival or the day after, followed
SOVEREIGN NATION: The Chinese premier’s remarks about the CCP’s resolve to achieve unification sought to undermine the legitimacy of Taiwan, the MAC said Taiwan will never accept Beijing’s attempts to undermine its sovereignty, the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) said yesterday, after the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) at its National Day celebrations in Beijing vowed to achieve unification with Taiwan. The CCP’s statement was not conducive to peaceful cross-strait relations, the council said. The event, hosted by the Chinese State Council, featured Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平), Chinese Premier Li Keqiang (李克強), the other five CCP Politburo Standing Committee members and Vice President Wang Qishan (王岐山), as well as 500 guests from China and abroad. Taiwanese based in China also attended the ceremony, Xinhua news agency
The Kaohsiung District Court has ordered a man to pay a convenience store NT$600 (US$18.83) in compensation for using his own mug to refill a pot of tea eggs, ruling against the store manager’s NT$1 million claim. In May, during the peak of a domestic COVID-19 surge, a man surnamed Lee (李) added water from his mug to a pot of tea eggs after seeing it was nearly dry. A clerk stopped Lee, then discarded all 60 eggs in the pot, worth an estimated NT$600, after consulting with the manager, it said. The manager sued Lee, demanding NT$1 million for damage to the
Washington is evaluating a transfer of weapons systems requested by Taiwan, according to a copy of a report by the Ministry of National Defense (MND) that is to be submitted to lawmakers tomorrow. Asked whether the AGM-158 Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile would be among the weapons systems, the ministry refused to comment, but said that it would not rule out announcing the specifics later this year. The ministry’s domestically sourced high-priority military investments include submarines, next-generation light frigates, rescue ships, advanced trainer jets and infantry fighting vehicles, the report said. Planned deals include F-16A and F-16B jet performance upgrades, navigation and targeting