Taipei/Beijing: Senior US official Keith Krach, the new defence deal and US legislation favourable to Taiwan introduced in the US Congress have made the ruling Chinese Communist Party quite nervous. As the US official visit was underway, 37 Chinese jets were found to have infiltrated into Taiwanese airspace. After that, China began conducting naval drills near Taiwanese waters, which its media has warned is stimulation for taking control of Taiwan. Therefore, Taiwanese Foreign Minister Joseph Wu has called on the international community for coming together to support Taiwanese sovereignty.
On Thursday, senior US official Keith Krach and had arrived in Taiwan with a delegation for a three-day visit. The next day, Krach and the US delegation met the Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen. Further, the US delegation met Taiwanese Foreign Minister, Vice Premier and officials from its Ministry of Trade and then discussed bilateral ties. The US delegation was present for the memorial service of the former Taiwanese President Lee Teng-hui on Saturday. The US has indicated strengthening its relations with Taiwan by sending two of its top diplomats in less than a month.
The growing ties between the US and Taiwan have drawn China’s ire. The Chinese activities in the last two days make the ruling Communist Party’s outrage evident. China tried to add tremendous pressure on Taiwan by attempting to intrude into Taiwanese airspace back to back on Friday and Saturday. The Taiwanese Defence Ministry has informed that 18 fighters on Friday and 19 on Saturday violated their airspace. It’s the first such instance of coercion on such a massive scale on two successive days. Besides, reports revealed that the Chinese PLA has even initiated exercises close to the Taiwanese boundaries. Warships, destroyers, fighter jets and bombers, submarines and helicopters are participating in the drills.
Chinese media has issued a warning and said, ‘Taiwan and those assisting the island, must not take China’s exercise lightly. The drills are a simulation for taking control of Taiwan’. Along with justifying its activities, the Chinese Defence Ministry threatened the US and Taiwan. Defence Ministry Spokesperson Ren Guoqiang said, ’Those intending to keep control over China by using Taiwan or planning to increase their capabilities by using foreign powers, are playing mind games. Also, if they try to play with fire, know well that they will burn themselves with it.’
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo rebuked China and said, ‘The US has sharply condemned intrusion of Chinese jets as well as PLA drills. China tried to add pressure by using its military might when the US had sent its delegation to Taiwan to pay its respects’. In the last month, China had organised exercises one after another near the Taiwanese boundaries, and analysts believe they are pressure tactics against Taiwan and the US.
Meanwhile, apart from the US, Japan has also hinted at expanding its relations with Taiwan. Former Japanese Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori visited Taiwan with a delegation on Saturday. Sources have said that he spoke to the Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen at the time. Moreover, the appointment of Nobuo Kishi as the Defence Minster only signals at adding to China’s troubles further. Kishi is the younger brother of Shinzo Abe and has been the contact man between Japan and Taiwan for the past several years. A few months ago, he was believed to have met the Taiwanese President Tsai. According to reports, after Kishi was appointed, Japan’s new Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga made the decision to have a telephonic conversation with Taiwanese President.