Days After Pelosi's Taiwan Visit, China Still Fuming
August 05, 2022
China sent several warplanes and ships across the sensitive median line
in the Taiwan Strait Friday, Taiwanese defense officials said, as
Beijing continued its military exercises in response to a Taiwan visit
by U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Taiwan’s military said in a statement that its reconnaissance planes and
naval vessels are monitoring the Chinese activity, which it called
“highly provocative.” It is the second consecutive day Chinese planes
and ships have crossed the median line, the de facto sea border.
China has declared four days of military exercises in six designated
zones surrounding Taiwan. The drills are raising fears of a
miscalculation, although, so far, Taiwanese and U.S. officials say they
have no desire to escalate the situation.
On Friday, the Chinese military held air and sea combat drills to the
north, southwest, and east of Taiwan, according to a social media post
by the Eastern Theater Command of the People’s Liberation Army.
A day earlier, China fired at least 11 missiles into the waters near
Taiwan’s coast. At least four of the missiles overflew Taiwan, according
to Japanese defense officials, in what many defense analysts described
as an unprecedented provocation.
Five of the missiles landed in Japan’s exclusive economic zone,
prompting firm condemnations by Tokyo.
"China's behavior has a serious impact on the peace and stability of the
region and also the world,” Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said
Friday after meeting with Pelosi, whose congressional delegation was in
Tokyo on the final stop of an Asia tour.
China is furious over Pelosi’s visit, which was meant to express
solidarity with Taiwan, a democratic island of about 24 million people.
Despite never having controlled Taiwan, China’s Communist Party insists
the island is a Chinese province, and has vowed to take it, by force, if
On Friday, China’s foreign ministry announced unspecified sanctions
against Pelosi and her immediate family, accusing the lawmaker of
“seriously interfering in China’s internal affairs.”
China’s foreign ministry also announced Friday that Beijing would end
cooperation with the United States in several areas, including dialogue
between senior military officials and climate talks.
Late Thursday, the White House summoned Qin Gang, China’s ambassador to
the United States, to condemn Beijing’s actions toward Taiwan, The
Washington Post reported.
“We condemned the PRC’s military actions, which are irresponsible and at
odds with our long-standing goal of maintaining peace and stability
across the Taiwan Strait,” read a White House statement obtained by the
In China, some state-controlled media have characterized the drills as a
rehearsal for invasion and a demonstration that Beijing can impose a
blockade on the island.
A key question is how long the Chinese drills last, and whether such
provocations will continue in the coming weeks and months.
“It's a sort of well-documented thing that Beijing will use the
opportunity of a crisis to advance other objectives and to create a new
normal in a dispute,” said Amanda Hsiao, a senior Taipei-based analyst
at the International Crisis Group.
“Particularly the increased military activity around the Taiwan Strait
median line – I think it is very much for the purposes of expanding and
regularizing its presence further into the Taiwan Strait,” she said.
“That sort of activity may well endure past the announced exercise time
If China were to regularize its military presence closer to Taiwan, it
would increase the chance of miscalculations and may result in less
strategic space for Taiwan’s military to maneuver, analysts warn.
Taiwan’s military has said its forces continue to have freedom of
movement and monitor for any incursions, points out Derek Grossman, a
senior analyst who focuses on Asia at the Rand Corporation, a policy
“If there really is a problem you’re going to know about it, because
they are going to be blinking red for support from the United States in
particular, but also Japan and Australia and anyone else willing to
help. They’re not going to be bashful about calling in for help,” he
Grossman also points out that China’s military has put a time frame on
the military exercises – a sign that at least some of the provocations
may soon cease.
“I think it is good practice for a blockade … but it’s not a blockade
that’s going to be open-ended in time frame," he said. “It’s important
to bookend when this ends, because if you don’t then everyone’s going to
be really nervous and it could spiral out of control."
depends on the response of the U.S. military, which maintains a regular
presence in the region. On Thursday, U.S. officials said the aircraft
carrier strike group led by the USS Ronald Reagan will remain in the
vicinity to “monitor the situation.”
The U.S. military will also conduct “standard air and maritime transits”
through the Taiwan Strait in the next few weeks, said John Kirby,
coordinator for strategic communications at the National Security
However, to reduce tensions, Kirby said the U.S. is postponing a
long-planned test of an Air Force Minuteman III intercontinental
In a video address Thursday, Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen insisted
Taiwanese forces are “calm and will not act in haste.”
“We are rational and will not act to provoke. But we will absolutely not
back down,” Tsai added.