Taiwan ‘prepares for struggle’ with China, puts military on alert ahead of US official’s visit


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Taiwan has reportedly put its armed forces on excessive alert because it prepares for struggle with China over the visit of US Senator Nancy Pelosi.

Soldiers trip M60 tanks on a street as half of a military train in Taichung, Taiwan. (Photo: File Image/Reuters)

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Taiwan is making ready for a struggle with China
  • Taiwan’s military mobilizes its forces ahead of a US official’s visit
  • China sees US contact as encouragement to make Taiwan’s independence everlasting

Taiwan has reportedly put its military on excessive alert and canceled the furlough of some officers and troopers because it prepares for a struggle with China over the alleged visit of US Senator Nancy Pelosi.

According to Taiwanese information retailers, the military has mobilized air protection forces to “immediately prepare for war” after a high-level briefing.

This comes amid US House Speaker Nancy Pelosis’ tour of 4 Asian international locations, which started Monday. Local media in Taiwan reported that Pelosi will arrive Tuesday night time and would be the highest-ranking US elected official in additional than 25 years.

A US official’s visit will spark anger in China, which considers Taiwan its personal territory and has repeatedly warned of “serious consequences” if the reported journey goes ahead.

READ | US Senator Nancy Pelosi starts Asia tour with speculation about visit to Taiwan

“Those who play with hearth will perish. We want to remind the US as soon as once more that we’re absolutely ready for any eventuality and that the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) won’t ever stand by,” said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian, quoted by the AP.

China sees official American contact with Taiwan as encouragement to make the island’s decades-old de facto independence permanent, a move US leaders say they do not support.

The US government had tried to reassure Beijing that there was no reason for “brawls” and that such a visit would not signal a change in US policy towards Taiwan.

Taiwan and China split in 1949 after the communists won a civil war on the mainland. Both sides say they are one country but disagree on which government is entitled to national leadership. They have no official ties, but are linked through billions of dollars of trade and investment.

Meanwhile, another US Air Force passenger plane flies from Alaska towards East Asia. Interestingly, his callsign is SPAR20. Nancy Pelosis callsign was SPAR19. Both jets are Boeing C-40C.

Last week, Chinese President Xi Jinping also warned the US not to interfere in Beijing’s dealings with Taiwan in a phone call with US President Joe Biden.

(With inputs from AP)

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