Four Chinese J-16 fighter jets intruded into Taiwan’s self-declared air defense identification zone, the island’s Defense Ministry reported on Monday, which was cited by the Russian news agency – TASS.
Taiwan’s Defense Ministry said – four Chinese J-16 warplanes flew around the waters southwest of the island. In response, Taiwan issued radio warnings and deployed air defense systems.
Military experts are linking the current PLAAF actions to the visit by US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi to Asia.
Pelosi confirmed her visit to Singapore, Malaysia, Japan, and South Korea. However, she did not mention Taiwan in her official itinerary.
Pelosi is leading a small delegation of lawmakers, including Gregory Meeks, the chair of the House’s foreign affairs.
Meanwhile, the United States is deploying its airplanes and ships closer to Taiwan ahead of the possible visit of US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to the island, Japanese news agency Nikkei Asia reported.
According to naval and flight tracking website data, cited by the news agency, US naval and aerial assets are being drawn closer to Taiwan, including the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan, which was previously in Singapore, the amphibious assault ship USS Tripoli and the amphibious assault ship USS America, which were near Japan, as well as over 30 other warships, three submarines and several fighter aircraft.
Taiwanese media reported on Monday, citing unnamed sources, that Pelosi may arrive in Taiwan on August 2. The Chinese Foreign Ministry said on July 28 that in the event of Pelosi’s visit, Beijing will take decisive measures to protect its sovereignty and territorial integrity, and the US will be fully responsible for all the consequences resulting from the visit.
The possible visit of the US house speaker to Taiwan was speculated on back in April, but the Asian tour was postponed after Pelosi tested positive for the coronavirus.
The media also reported that Chinese diplomats in the United States were actively working to convey to US congressmen the inadvisability of visiting the island in the interests of both countries.
The Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) held from July 29-30 military drills with firing exercises in the southeastern province of Fujian across the strait from Taiwan as well as in the western part of the Hainan Strait.
Taiwan became alienated from Beijing after becoming a stronghold of the Chinese Nationalist Party (the Kuomintang) that suffered defeat to the Communist Party in a civil war in 1949.
The Chinese mainland and the island resumed business and informal contact in the late 1980s. Beijing opposes any official contact of foreign countries with Taiwan and considers Chinese sovereignty over the island indisputable.
- Via Sputnik News Agency
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