Pelosi Taiwan visit - live: China begins largest-ever military drills after US House speaker’s visit

·26 min read

China started its largest-ever military exercises around Taiwan today after Nancy Pelosi’s controversial visit to the island nation.

US House speaker Pelosi left Taiwan on a US Air Force jet on last evening, concluding a historic and high-stakes visit that drew a slew of angry responses from China. Her next stop is South Korea.

Taiwan said on Thursday that it had fired flares to drive away an unidentified aircraft — probably drones — that had flown in on Wednesday night above the area of its Kinmen islands.

Beijing warned of “punishing” those who offend it, while Chinese state media called the speaker’s trip an “opening salvo of war”.

On Thursday, Ms Pelosi met South Korean National Assembly speaker Kim Jin Pyo and other senior members of Parliament for talks on regional security, economic cooperation and climate issues.

Meanwhile, Russia backed China’s assertion that the trip was a deliberate attempt by Washington to irritate Beijing, while a Kremlin spokesperson said that the tension created from Ms Pelosi’s trip to Taiwan “should not be underestimated”.

Key points

  • Pelosi departs from Taiwan after a historic visit

  • Taiwan deploys missile systems to track Chinese airforce activities

  • ‘We will not abandon our commitment to Taiwan,’ says Pelosi

  • China curbs trade with Taiwan following Pelosi's visit

  • Chinese military actions legitimate, drills not causing freedom of navigation issues

China begins largest-ever military drills around Taiwan

06:40 , Maroosha Muzaffar

China began its unprecedented live-fire military drills in six areas that ring Taiwan on Thursday.

The state-owned CCTV said that the military drills would end at 0400 GMT on Sunday.

The drills would include live firing on the waters and in the airspace surrounding Taiwan, it said.

Meanwhile, Taiwan officials have said that the drills violate United Nations rules, invade Taiwan’s territorial space and are a direct challenge to free air and sea navigation.

Taiwan deploys missile systems to track Chinese airforce activities

06:30 , Maroosha Muzaffar

Taiwan has deployed missile systems to track the movement of Chinese air force activities near the Median line, Reuters reported.

China began its largest-ever military exercise today in wake of Nancy Pelosi’s highly-controversial visit to the island.

It was also reported that Taiwan’s navy chips are staying close to the median line to monitor Chinese navy activities.

Several military aircraft briefly crossed the median line today morning, according to media reports. Taiwan said that it fired flares to drive away Chinese unidentified aircraft.

Taiwan fires flares to drive away Chinese unidentified aircraft

06:00 , Maroosha Muzaffar

Taiwan said on Thursday that it had fired flares to drive away an unidentified aircraft — probably drones — that had flown in on Wednesday night above the area of its Kinmen islands.

China had warned Taiwan of the “consequences” of Nancy Pelosi’s visit and announced military drills in six locations surrounding Taiwan soon after she landed in Taipei on Tuesday night.

Major General Chang Zone-sung of the Army’s Kinmen Defense Command told Reuters that the Chinese drones came in a pair and flew into the Kinmen area twice on Wednesday night, at around 9pm and 10pm local time.

What you need to know about Pelosi, China, and Taiwan

05:00 , Josh Marcus

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan, the highest-level trip by a US official in 25 years, has sparked a diplomatic crisis between the US and China.

Beijing warned the United States that it was “playing with fire” by allowing the speaker’s visit to take place, and even Joe Biden had cautioned against it.

So why is Ms Pelosi’s trip so controversial?

Here’s what you need to know.

Why is Nancy Pelosi’s trip to Taiwan so contentious?

ICYMI: Nancy Pelosi leaves Taiwan after highly controversial visit angers China

04:00 , Josh Marcus

US House speaker Nancy Pelosi wrapped up her highly-controversial, historic visit to Taiwan on Wednesday amid massive criticism from China.

Ms Pelosi is the first highest-ranking American official in 25 years to visit Taiwan despite strong warnings from China. In fact, China had openly criticised her visit with Chinese state-owned media calling the trip an “opening salvo of war”.

But she had said that she and other members of Congress were visiting Taiwan to show they “will not abandon their commitment” to the self-governing island.

Maroosha Muzaffar has the details.

Nancy Pelosi leaves Taiwan after highly controversial visit

More major geopolitical news out of the Senate

03:00 , Josh Marcus

Nancy Pelosi’s Asia trip isn’t the only thing shaking up the world stage.

The US Senate on Wednesday voted overwhelmingly to give its’ assent to making Finland and Sweden the 31st and 32nd members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, just under three months after President Joe Biden recommended that both nations be allowed to join the 73-year-old defensive alliance.

The vast majority of senators — 48 Democrats and 48 Republicans — voted in favour of both nations’ accession to Nato, easily overcoming the two-thirds (67 votes) majority required to ratify the instrument giving American support to the two potential Nato members. Each of the 30 current member nations must unanimously agree before any new countries can join the alliance.

Just a single Republican, Senator Josh Hawley of Missouri voted against the expansion. Mr Hawley had previously announced that he would oppose allowing Finland and Sweden to join Nato because the US would be obligated to defend them from attack under Article V of the North Atlantic Treaty. Nato members have only invoked Article V just once before: in 2001, after the September 11 terrorist attacks on New York and Washington.

Andrew Feinberg has more.

US Senate votes 95-1 to allow Finland and Sweden to join Nato

The other Pelosi controversy

02:00 , Josh Marcus

As much of the world was focused on Nancy Pelosi’s trip through Asia, her husband Paul quietly pleaded not guilty on Wednesday to DUI charges, stemming from a May accident in Napa, California.

Here’s more background about the case against Mr Pelosi.

Nancy Pelosi's husband charged with DUI in California

Watch: Archival footage shows Nancy Pelosi unfurl pro-democracy banner in Tiananmen Square

01:40 , Josh Marcus

In 1991, Nancy Pelosi was part of a congressional delegation that visited China.

Standing in Tiananmen Square, where two years earlier the Chinese government had massacred pro-democracy demonstrators, the group unfurled a banner that read, “TO THOSE WHO DIED FOR DEMOCRACY IN CHINA.”

“I felt like that that was such a courageous and also formative, I would say, experience from her,” Samuel Chu, whose father Reverend Chu Yiu-ming gave the representatives the banner, told The Washington Post on Tuesday. “I think that that, in a way, was a foundational piece to the way that she had not only dealt with China, and human rights, but I think across the board.”

Watch video of the historic gesture below.

Japan is ‘concerned’ about Chinese military drills amid Pelosi Taiwan trip

01:20 , Josh Marcus

US ally Japan is alarmed about China’s plans to conduct live fire exercises around Taiwan amid House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s controversial Asia tour.

“We are concerned that Beijing has announced various military activities,” a Japanese official told Newsweek. “Moreover, the area that China announced for its military drills includes Japan’s EEZ [Exclusive Economic Zone].”

Dave Harding has more information about what China is planning.

Nearly 3 million people tracked Pelosi flight to Taiwan, most ever

01:00 , Josh Marcus

A whopping 2.9 million people tracked some portion of Nancy Pelosi’s flight to Taiwan, the most in the history of online flight tracking company Flightradar2, CNN reports.

“An unprecedented, sustained interest in this particular flight led to extremely heavy load on Flightradar24 infrastructure,” the aviation data company wrote on its blog. “Our teams immediately began efforts to maintain the stability of our services. Unfortunately, due to the volume of users, it was necessary to deploy our waiting room functionality, which meters access to Flightradar24 for non-subscribers.”

Pelosi’s Taiwan trip leaves Asian nations anxious about what happens next

Thursday 4 August 2022 00:40 , Josh Marcus

Nancy Pelosi may have left Taiwan, but the impact of her visit will linger.

According to diplomats, many are nervous about what China will do next. The rising world power won’t want to let what it views as an incursion into its domain of the island nation go unchallenged. However, in the words of one Singaporean diplomat, China “doesn’t want to start World War III” either

“What countries in this region know is that China cannot do nothing — it will look weak...China has no choice but to react,” Singaporean diplomat and academic Kishore Mahbubani told NPR, adding, “at the same time, China doesn’t want to start World War III.”

A number of embassies in the region have urged restraint.

The Philippines has asked both the US and China to avoid “any miscalculation and further escalation of tensions.”

Meanwhile, Indonesia is calling on “all parties to refrain from provocative actions that may worsen the situation.”

What Pelosi’s Taiwan trip looks like on Weibo

Thursday 4 August 2022 00:10 , Josh Marcus

Nancy Pelosi’s Taiwan trip has provoked a wide range of opinions in the US, China, and beyond.

On Weibo, the popular Chinese social media app, some users rallied behind the Chinese government perspective.

“Pelosi has inaugurated a great era that naturally belongs to us,” read one popular comment. “We will take this opportunity to carry out sea and air patrols around Taiwan without any hindrance so they steadily become normalized, and unification will draw closer and closer.”

“The Liberation Army is clearly training in fully blockading the island Taiwan,” another popular hashtag said.

What’s it like to travel through Taiwan

Wednesday 3 August 2022 23:57 , Josh Marcus

What’s it like to visit Taiwan? Here’s a tantalizing excerpt from Sally Howard.

I ate featherlight dumplings at atmospheric night markets; I poked about gilded Buddhist temples that were thick with the aroma of sandalwood incense; I enjoyed oolong ceremonies in 16th century teahouses where I could almost hear the bustle of Ming dynasty merchants; and I trekked through the eye wateringly sublime Taiwanese interior. Here, marble gorges plunge into blue-green rivers, and fissures in the earth’s crust bubble with the waters that supply Taiwan’s 130 hot springs (ideal for soothing trekkers’ muscles, once you get a grip on hot-spring etiquette).

Sounds pretty good to us!

Check out her full account.

Still off-limits: Why I can’t wait to get back to Taiwan

Pelosi suggests Chinese criticism of Taiwan trip is sexist

Wednesday 3 August 2022 23:37 , Josh Marcus

Nancy Pelosi has suggested China’s furious response to her trip to Taiwan may be sexist.

In a joint press conference with the Taiwanese president Tsai Ing-wen on Wednesday, Ms Pelosi remarked that recent visits by senior US male lawmakers hadn’t provoked the bluster and threats seen in recent days.

“I think they made a big fuss because I’m Speaker I guess,” she said. “I don’t know if that was a reason or an excuse, because they didn’t say anything when the men came.”

Beijing warned that the US was “playing with fire” and launched live-fire drills as Ms Pelosi touched down in Taiwan on Tuesday night, portraying the House Speaker’s visit as an affront to its ambitions to “reunify” with Taiwan.

Bevan Hurley is following this story for The Independent.

Pelosi suggests Chinese criticism of Taiwan trip is sexist

How has Pelosi’s Taiwan visit impacted financial markets

Wednesday 3 August 2022 23:17 , Josh Marcus

London’s markets finished with strong gains on Wednesday as tensions briefly eased between the US and China, allowing traders to focus on positive equity updates.

Concerns over China’s reaction to Nancy Pelosi’s trip to Taiwan eased back as the speaker of the US House of Representatives left for South Korea early on Wednesday.

The FTSE 100 ended the day up 36.57 points, or 0.49%, at 7,445.68.

Chris Beauchamp, chief market analyst at IG, said: “The choppier start to August has been reversed to an extent today, with the FTSE 100 and other indices making some headway as some of the fears around a Taiwan crisis begin to ease.

Henry Saker-Clark has the story for The Independent.

London markets close higher as US-China worries ease

Voices: Here in Taiwan, this is what people really think of Nancy Pelosi’s visit

Wednesday 3 August 2022 22:57 , Josh Marcus

Nancy Pelosi’s whirlwind visit to Taiwan ended in less than 24 hours, but during that time, the small democratic island suddenly became the most talked-about topic in the world. Prior to Pelosi’s arrival, there were concerns in the United States that the visit may further escalate tension between Beijing and Washington. In seeming confirmation, the Chinese government was quick to issue a series of stern warnings. Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said that the US “making themselves an enemy of the 1.4 billion Chinese people will not end up well”.

But here in Taipei, life remained relatively calm and business-as-usual. While international discussion largely focused on the risks of an escalated military conflict between two of the world’s biggest countries, news in Taiwan focuses largely on gossip or news about local politics. For that reason, some may think Taiwanese people are indifferent to the potential risks of Pelosi’s visit – especially given the strident tone of the comments from Beijing — but the truth is that Taiwanese people have simply grown used to this kind of rhetoric. In Taiwan, measured military threats from China occur on almost a daily basis.

Get more of the local perspective from William Yang’s piece for our Voices section.

Here in Taiwan, this is what people really think of Nancy Pelosi’s visit

Taiwan says Chinese live-fire drills amount to ‘blockade’ in response to Pelosi visit

Wednesday 3 August 2022 22:37 , Josh Marcus

Taiwan has said that Chinese military drills in waters around the island nation amount to a blockade as Britain criticised Beijing’s “inflammatory” response to Nancy Pelosi’s visit.

The US House of Representatives speaker arrived in Taipei on Tuesday despite continued threats from China, leading the Chinese military to announce four days of military exercises with artillery fire in waters around the island.

The drills featured J-20 stealth fighter jets and test firing of conventional missiles, according to the state-run Global Times, and may result in delays or disrupt shipping to and from the island.

In retaliation to Ms Pelosi’s visit, China also blocked imports of citrus and fish from Taiwan.

Sravasti Dasgupta has the details.

Taiwan says Chinese live-fire drills amount to ‘blockade’ in response to Pelosi visit

Secretary of State Antony Blinken joins G7 diplomats, calls on China to maintain ‘status quo'

Wednesday 3 August 2022 22:00 , Graig Graziosi

Secretary of State Antony Blinken has joined fellow G7 diplomats in calling for China not to use force to disrupt the “status quo” in the Taiwan Strait following House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan.

“We call on the PRC not to unilaterally change the status quo by force in the region, and to resolve cross-Strait differences by peaceful means,” he wrote in a tweet. “There is no change in the respective one China policies, where applicable, and basic positions on Taiwan of the G7 members.”

Southeast Asian companies react to China’s rhetoric following Pelosi visit

Wednesday 3 August 2022 21:27 , Graig Graziosi

Several Southeast Asian countries have issued statements calling for China to maintain peace after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited Taiwan on Tuesday and Wednesday.

“If not managed well, it may lead to open conflict and disrupt peace and stability, including in the Taiwan [S]trait,” Officials from Jakarta said in a statement. It called on “all parties to refrain from provocative actions that may worsen the situation.”

“The world is in dire need of wisdom and responsibilities of all leaders to ensure peace and stability are maintained,” Indonesian officials said in a statement.

The Thai government also urged for peace.

“We do not wish to see any actions that would aggravate tensions and undermine peace and stability in the region,” ministry spokesman Tanee Sangrat said. “We hope that all parties concerned exercise utmost restraint, abide by international law and principles of respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity and resolve their differences through peaceful means.”

G7 countries denounce China for ‘destablising’ Taiwan Strait over Pelosi visit

Wednesday 3 August 2022 20:52 , Graig Graziosi

The G7 counties released a joint statement denouncing China for “destablising” the Taiwan Strait over House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s trip to Taiwan.

“There is no justification to use a visit as pretext for aggressive military activity in the Taiwan Strait,” G7 foreign ministers said in a sttaement.

Diplomats from the organisation said they were “concerned by recent and announced threatening actions by the People’s Republic of China, particularly live-fire exercises and economic coercion, which risk unnecessary escalation”.

NSC Spokesman Admiral John Kirby says US and China are not at ‘the brink'

Wednesday 3 August 2022 20:11 , Graig Graziosi

NSC Spokesman Admiral John Kirby appeared on “Good Morning America” on Wednesday and said that despite China’s rhetoric in response to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan, the US and Beijing were not “on the brink.”

Mr Kirby said that he did not “believe we’re at the brink now, and there’s certainly no reason for anybody to be talking about being at the brink going forward.”

Pelosi leaves Taiwan for South Korea

Wednesday 3 August 2022 19:49 , Graig Graziosi

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has left Taiwan after spending a day there meeting with officials. Chinese forces continued to conduct military drills around the time of her departure as a way to show its displeasure with her visit.

Ms Pelosi will now head to South Korea, where she will meet with National Assembly Speaker Kim Jin-pyo, leaders of the ruling conservative People Power Party, and the opposition Democratic Party of Korea.

South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol will not be meeting with Ms Pelosi. He is on a planned holiday, though commenters have speculated he may be trying to dodge meeting with the House Speaker to avoid angering China.

White House Press Secretary and Fox News host spar over Biden’s lack of endorsement for Pelosi’s trip

Wednesday 3 August 2022 19:20 , Graig Graziosi

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre and Fox News’ Peter Doocy sparred on Wednesday over the fact that Joe Biden has not endorsed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s trip to Taiwan.

Mr Doocy asked Ms Jean-Pierre if Mr Biden was “worried about hurting Xi’s feelings,” referring to Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Ms Jean-Pierre responded that Mr Biden had made clear they could not tell congressional members where to go, which prompted Mr Doocy to say that Republican leaders, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senator Lindsey Graham, offered praise to Ms Pelosi for the trip.

Ms Jean-Pierre refused to say Mr Biden supported the trip.

Republicans have managed to work Mr Biden into a tough spot; by offering their support and noting his silence, it makes the president appear afraid to anger Beijing. If he does endorse her trip, it could ratchet up the already heightened tensions between the two nations.

White House: There is no reason for China to turn Taiwan trip into crisis

Wednesday 3 August 2022 19:02 , Johanna Chisholm

While reponding to reporters questions during a briefing, White House Press Secretary reiterated the Biden administration’s stance regarding Nancy Pelosi’s trip to Taiwan this week, stating that “members of Congress have the right to travel wherever they choose” and added that there was no reason for China to turn the House speaker’s visit into a “crisis”.

“There’s no reason for Beijing to turn this visit, which is consistent with long standing US policy and into some sort of crisis,” Karine Jean-Pierre said Wednesday. “We have been very clear there’s no change in our One China policy, which is guided by the Taiwan Relations Act of 1979. That has not changed.”

The press secretary emphasised that the US doesn’t want a crisis, but noted that the administration was prepared “to manage what Beijing chooses to do about that”.

“There’s a Chinese official that says the US must pay the price for its own mistake. And we mean what we say when the Chinese threaten the US that the President takes them seriously,” she said.

“Nothing has changed when it comes to our policies.”

Video: China ‘didn’t say anything when the men came’

Wednesday 3 August 2022 18:42 , Johanna Chisholm

While speaking at a press conference on Wednesday in Taiwan, US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi contended that Chinese officials didn’t make “much of a fuss” when male US leaders visited the self-governing island nation earlier this year.

In April, five US senators Taiwan and the speaker suggested that the response from Beijing was muted in comparison the reception her unannounced trip evoked.

She later said China perhaps “made a big fuss because I’m speaker,” before quipping that “they didn’t say anything when the men came,” a jest that was met with a roomful of laughter.

Watch the full clip below.

Canada calls on China to de-escalate tensions

Wednesday 3 August 2022 18:08 , Johanna Chisholm

Canadian Foreign Minister said Wednesday that she was concerned by the recent tensions in the Taiwan Strait after US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taipei this week and specifically called on China to de-escalate the situation.

“We think that legislators do visits around the world and clearly the visit cannot be used as a justification for heightened tensions or a pretext,” Ms Joly said to reporters in Montreal while speaking alongside her German counterpart Annalena Baerbock.

“So, in that sense we call on China to de-escalate because we think that there may be risks of not only heightened tensions, but also destabilizing the region,” Ms Joly added.

Kremlin: Tension from Pelosi’s visit ‘should not be underestimated'

Wednesday 3 August 2022 17:33 , Johanna Chisholm

Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov told reporters Wednesday that the knock-on effects and tension created from Nancy Pelosi’s trip to Taiwan “should not be underestimated”.

While taking a question from a reporter who had asked about whether the Kremlin spokesperson believed the world was on the edge of war, Mr Peskov responded by saying that he wouldn’t characterise the current geopolitical tensions as such but echoed earlier comments made by Russia’s foreign minister who said the visit was a “provocation”.

The spokesperson noted that there were no new meetings planned between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese leader Xi Jinping in light of the recent visit.

Video: Nancy Pelosi sends 'unequivocal message' that 'America stands with Taiwan'

Wednesday 3 August 2022 17:04 , Johanna Chisholm

Before taking off for Seoul on Wednesday, Nancy Pelosi vowed solidarity with Taiwan, while China lambasted the House speaker’s trip and launched military drills in response.

“Our delegation came here to send an unequivocal message: America stands with Taiwan,” Ms Pelosi said during a news conference after meeting with the island’s president.

Watch the full clip below:

Pelosi: China ‘cannot prevent world leaders’ from travelling to Taiwan

Wednesday 3 August 2022 16:46 , Johanna Chisholm

US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi released an official statement Wednesday as her unannounced trip to Taiwan officially came to a close.

In her remarks, the Democratic lawmaker once again echoed earlier comments made about the self-governing island, emphasising how the trip should be viewed as a statement that “America stands with Taiwan”.

“We came to Taiwan to listen to, learn from and show our support for the people of Taiwan, who have built a thriving Democracy that stands as one of the freest and most open in the world,” the speaker began.

US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi at reacts to Chen Chu, the President of the Control Yuan and Chair of the National Human Rights Commission, during a visit to a human rights museum in Taipei, Taiwan (AP)
US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi at reacts to Chen Chu, the President of the Control Yuan and Chair of the National Human Rights Commission, during a visit to a human rights museum in Taipei, Taiwan (AP)

She then listed the security, economic and governing priorities the delegation discussed with their Taiwanese counterparts, before turning to more controversy-stirring matters.

“Sadly, Taiwan has been prevented from participating in global meetings, most recently the World Health Organization, because of objections by the Chinese Communist Party,” the speaker wrote. “While they may prevent Taiwan from sending its leaders to global forums, they cannot prevent world leaders or anyone from traveling to Taiwan to pay respect to its flourishing Democracy, to highlight its many successes and to reaffirm our commitment to continued collaboration.”

Read the full statement here.

G7 calls on China not to ‘unilaterally change the status quo by force in region’

Wednesday 3 August 2022 16:36 , Johanna Chisholm

The G7 foreign ministers of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, the United States of America, and the High Representative of the European Union released a joint statement on Wednesday in response to China’s recently announced threats following US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan.

The group of foreign ministers specifically cited the PRC’s scheduling of “live-fire exercises and economic coercion” as risking “unnecessary escalation” in the Taiwan Strait, adding that “there is no justification to use a visit as pretext for aggressive military activity”.

“It is normal and routine for legislators from our countries to travel internationally. The PRC’s escalatory response risks increasing tensions and destabilizing the region,” the group wrote.

“We call on the PRC not to unilaterally change the status quo by force in the region, and to resolve cross-Strait differences by peaceful means. There is no change in the respective one China policies, where applicable, and basic positions on Taiwan of the G7 members.”

The group also called on all involved parties to “exercise restraint” and keep an open line of communication in order to prevent any misunderstandings.

Read the full statement here.

China’s foreign ministry calls US democracy ‘nothing but a robe with lice crawling all over it'

Wednesday 3 August 2022 16:09 , Johanna Chisholm

China’s Foreign Ministry slammed Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan on Wednesday, labelling it a “provocation” and “infringement” of China’s sovereignty.

“The kind of democracy referred to by Pelosi is like nothing but a robe with lice crawling all over it. It may look opulent from a distance, but not really so when you look at it close up,” said Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying in a video released on the ministry’s main Twitter account Wednesday.

“Her dangerous provocation is only about fishing for political capital and in this ugly stunt, democracy has been reduced by the United States to a tool and a pretext. It is Speaker Pelosi who is playing to the gallery but it is the China-US relationship and the peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait that are suffering,” the spokesperson added.

The foreign ministry went on to cite recent incidents in the US -- the death of George Floyd, the 1m deaths from Covid-19, and the Uvalde mass shooting at Robb Elementary School that left 19 students and two teachers dead -- as so-called proof of “the hypocrisy and cold-bloodedness of democracy”.

Taiwan’s defence ministry says 27 Chinese military planes detected in air defence zone

Wednesday 3 August 2022 15:48 , Johanna Chisholm

Taiwan’s defence ministry tweeted on Wednesday shortly after Nancy Pelosi’s plane headed for Seoul, where she’s expected to arrive late in the day, took off stating that 27 Chinese PLA aircrafts arrived in the area.

The Ministry of National Defense tweeted in the evening on Wednesday Taiwan time that 27 aircrafts, which included models J-11*6, J-16*5 and SU-30*16, were detected flying over the self-governing island’s air defence zone on 3 August.

Pelosi's visit symbolises US support for Tibet, Hong Kong, Xinjiang, says rights group

Wednesday 3 August 2022 15:33 , Johanna Chisholm

Lauding US speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan, the Committee for Freedom in Hong Kong (CFHK) has said the trip symbolises a tougher stance against China.

The international advocacy group, set up last year amid the crackdown on Hong Kong’s pro-democracy movement, said in a statement to The Independent that it fully supports Ms Pelosi’s decision to visit Taiwan and applauded her courage in facing such threats, adding that China must bear the consequences of any escalation of tension.

“The Committee for Freedom in Hong Kong supports the visit to Taiwan, and the rest of Asia, by Speaker Pelosi and strongly welcomes the support from Republican senators willing to stand up against the threats by China,” it said.

“This visit is more than just about Taiwan. It also shows continued US support for the people of Tibet, Xinjiang and Hong Kong. Such support is vital as we need the US to take a tougher stance against China and its increasingly belligerent behaviour at home and abroad.”

Video: Russia says Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan was deliberate attempt to provoke China

Wednesday 3 August 2022 14:55 , Stuti Mishra

Striving for de-escalation in Taiwan Strait, says German foreign ministry

Wednesday 3 August 2022 14:35 , Stuti Mishra

Germany is striving for a de-escalation in the Taiwan Strait with international partners, said a German foreign ministry spokesperson, who added that military threats were unacceptable.

Germany retains close relations with Taiwan, which is an important partner, said the spokesperson at a regular government news conference in the evening.

Germany's government supports a clear "One China" policy like the United States, added a government spokesperson.