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2 Aug, 2022 13:50

Taiwan makes defense pledge – Reuters

The self-governed island says it can handle threats arising from the US House speaker’s expected arrival
Taiwan makes defense pledge – Reuters

Taiwan has a “full grasp” of military activities in the area amid tensions with China, and will dispatch forces to deter “enemy threats,” according to a Defense Ministry statement cited by Reuters.

According to the statement, Taiwan’s military has the “determination, ability and confidence” to ensure the island’s security, and has drawn up emergency plans.

Citing an anonymous source familiar with the matter, Reuters said that several Chinese warplanes flew close to the median line of the Taiwan Strait earlier on Tuesday. This followed several instances this week of air activity from Chinese planes in Taiwan’s southwest airspace.

Beijing-Taipei tensions have spiked as US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is anticipated to visit Taiwan this evening and meet with leader Tsai Ing-wen on Wednesday.

Pelosi’s office did not mention Taiwan as a destination for the speaker’s Asia tour, although news of her impending arrival has been reported by Taiwanese media and various western outlets, quoting US and Taiwanese officials.

Prior to Pelosi’s departure for Asia, news circulated that she might include Taiwan in her itinerary, but numerous US officials warned the speaker of the possible repercussions of doing so.

Beijing sounded off, warning that Taiwan is a red-line issue not to be crossed. This was reportedly the main item discussed in a phone call between Chinese President Xi Jinping and US President Joe Biden, according to the Chinese side’s readout of the call.

Adding to concerns, commercial flights in China’s Fujian province near Taiwan have been disrupted, Taiwan’s presidential office has been targeted by an overseas DDoS attack, and a bomb threat has been sent to Taiwan’s Taoyuan international airport.