makes defense pledge – Reuters


Self-governed island says it can handle threats posed by expected arrival of US House speaker

Taiwan has a “full grip” of military activity in the area amid tensions with China, and will send military forces to “enemy threats”, according to a statement from the Department of Defense quoted by Reuters.

According to the statement, the Taiwanese military has “determination, competence and confidence” to ensure the safety of the island, and has prepared emergency plans.

Citing an anonymous source familiar with the matter, Reuters said several Chinese warplanes flew close to the centerline of the Taiwan Strait earlier on Tuesday. This followed several cases of air activity this week from Chinese planes in Taiwan’s southwestern airspace.

Tensions between Beijing and Taipei have run high as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is expected to visit Taiwan tonight and meet with Leader Tsai Ing-wen on Wednesday.

Pelosi’s office did not name Taiwan as a destination for the speaker’s Asia tour, although news of her impending arrival has been reported by Taiwanese media and various Western media, citing US and Taiwanese officials.

Prior to Pelosi’s departure for Asia, news circulated that she might include Taiwan on her itinerary, but numerous US officials warned the speaker of the potential consequences.

Beijing sounded, warning that Taiwan is a red line that should not be crossed. This was reportedly the main item discussed in a phone call between Chinese President Xi Jinping and US President Joe Biden, according to the Chinese side of the conversation.

Adding to the concerns, commercial flights in China’s Fujian province near Taiwan have been disrupted, Taiwan’s presidential office has been the target of an overseas DDoS attack and a bomb threat has been sent to Taoyuan International Airport in Taiwan.

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