Taiwan’s foreign minister claimed on Tuesday that Beijing is encircling the island with air and sea maneuvers to get ready for an invasion and alter the balance of power in the Asia-Pacific.
In a heated reaction to a visit by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the highest-ranking American official to visit the self-ruled island in decades, China this week conducted its largest-ever war games near Taiwan.
“China has used the drills and its military playbook to prepare for the invasion of Taiwan,” Joseph Wu told a press conference in Taipei.
“It is conducting large-scale military exercises and missile launches, as well as cyber-attacks, a disinformation campaign and economic coercion in order to weaken public morale in Taiwan.”
Even though Beijing had said the drills would conclude a day earlier, they continued Monday, according to Taipei’s top diplomat, who noted that they have hampered one of the busiest maritime and air routes in the world.
After the Taiwanese military conducted its own live-fire exercise to represent defending against an attack on the island, Wu held a press conference.
He described Beijing’s war games as an attempt to seize control of the waters surrounding Taiwan and the larger Asia-Pacific area and as a “gross violation of Taiwan’s rights.”
“China’s real intention is to alter the status quo in the Taiwan Strait and entire region,” he said.
Wu went on to recognize Western allies for standing up to China.
“It also sends a clear message to the world that democracy will not bow to the intimidation of authoritarianism,” he said.