|US military vessels in the Taiwan Strait in August 2021. The US said it would ‘continue to fly, sail and operate wherever international law allows, and that includes … the Taiwan Strait’. (Photograph: Us Navy/Reuters)|
Washington: Amid the heightened tensions in the Taiwan Strait, the United States is planning to take steps in the coming weeks and months to counter China’s military and economic activity around Taiwan.
US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s trip to Taiwan this month triggered a new round of tensions in the region. Ever since the visit of the US delegation, Beijing launched large-scale military exercises in the vicinity of the island, which included live-fire drills and military aircraft overflights close to Taiwan’s airspace.
Addressing a press briefing on Wednesday, State Department spokesperson Ned Price said the US will continue to take steps that are resolute but also calm to uphold peace and stability in the face of Beijing’s ongoing efforts to undermine the status quo.
“These steps across a range of areas will unfold over the coming weeks and months because we recognize that this challenge is a long-term,” Price said during a press briefing.
He said the United States expects China to continue “military intimidation and coercive economic tactics” against Taiwan in the coming weeks.
Price added that China has maintained a heightened military air and maritime posture around Taiwan despite the end of exercises.
Furthermore, the State Department spokesperson said any US moves to counter China’s activity around Taiwan will be consistent with the One China policy, the Taiwan Relations Act, and other measures.
Last week, a new delegation of US lawmakers visited Taiwan, less than two weeks after Pelosi’s visit to the self-ruled island angered China and set off large-scale military drills in the Taiwan Strait.
In response to this visit, China’s military conducted combat alert patrols and military drills in the waters and airspace around Taiwan.
On Tuesday, China staged military exercises in five areas of the South China Sea off the coast of the south-eastern Guangdong province. Several zones of the Yellow Sea are also involved in the ongoing drills on August 17-19.