Taiwan’s foreign minister has said that apparent Chinese anger over US speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to the island was just an excuse to prepare for an invasion, accusing China of “gross violations of international law”.
Joseph Wu made the comments during an address to the media, as the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) continued with military exercises it had launched last week, with Taiwan started live-fire drills of its own in response.
“China has used the drills in its military playbook to prepare for the invasion of Taiwan,” said Wu. “It is conducting large-scale military exercises and missile launches, as well as cyber-attacks, disinformation, and economic coercion, in an attempt to weaken public morale in Taiwan.”
The minister said the time needed to prepare activities on the scale of those undertaken by the PLA showed that the exercises had been planned well in advance of Pelosi’s visit being announced.
Wu claimed the tactics employed by China were “clearly trying to deter other countries from interfering in its attempt to invade Taiwan”, and warned that the nation had broader geostrategic intentions.
“China’s real intention is to alter the status quo in the Taiwan strait and the entire region.”
Beijing claims ownership of the Taiwan strait, but for a number of years both China and Taiwan had respected the “median line”, an unofficial sea border between the pair. Since the PLA started exercises last week it has made more than 100 sea and air crossings over the median line.