China on Monday said it carried out fresh military drills in the seas and the airspace around Taiwan, AFP reported. The Army exercises were launched after a Congress delegation led by Senator Ed Markey of Massachusetts met Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen in Taipei on Sunday.
This is the second high-level visit by United States officials to Taiwan this month. On August 2, US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited Taiwan despite a slew of threats from China, which considers the Island nation as a province that is to be unified with the Chinese mainland.
In retaliation to Pelosi’s visit, China launched multiple live-fire military drills close to Taiwan.
China sees official visits by US authorities as lending support to pro-independence camps and giving credence to the idea of Taiwan as a sovereign nation.
On Monday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said that Beijing will take resolute and strong measures to defend its national sovereignty and territorial integrity, the Associated Press reported.
“A handful of US politicians, in collusion with the separatist forces of Taiwan independence, are trying to challenge the one-China principle, which is out of their depth and doomed to failure,” Wang said.
Chinese Defence Ministry spokesperson Wu Qian said that the visit by the United States officials sends a wrong signal to the Taiwan secessionist forces, state-run Global Times reported.
“It [the visit] has fully exposed the United States’ role of spoiling and destroying the peace and stability in the Taiwan Straits,” Wu said.
Meanwhile, Taiwan said that the American lawmakers’ visit holds great significance.
“Their visit this time proves that China cannot stop politicians from any country from visiting Taiwan,” said Lo Chih-cheng, the chair of the Taiwan legislature’s Foreign and National Defence Committee, according to the Associated Press. “It also conveys an important message that the American people stand with the Taiwanese people,” Lo said.