Secretary of State Antony Blinken issued his own response to China’s response to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-CA) vist Taiwan earlier this week, On Friday, Chinese officials said 100 warplanes and 10 warships have been firing missiles surrounding the island.
That is the largest military exercise of its kind in the region. The exercises have even attracted tourists to a coastal town, hoping to witness the scene of exercises.
“People got emotional at the beginning because [Pelosi] was allowed to visit Taiwan just like that,” Wang Lu, a tourist from Zhejiang, China, told the Associated Press Friday. “We crossed the so-call middle line of the Taiwan Strait with military exercises and yesterday our missiles flew over Taiwan, which make us feel our motherland is very powerful and give us confidence that the return of Taiwan is the irresistible trend.”
Blinken called it a “significant escalation” with no justification. He said Pelosi’s visit was peaceful but China disagrees. As further consequence, China has cut the U.S. off from military and climate talks along with sanctioning the Pelosi in retaliation.
“China has chosen to overreact and use Speaker Pelosi’s visit as a pretext to increase provocative military activity in and around the Taiwan strait,” Blinken said. “There is no justification for this extreme, disproportionate and escalatory military response.”
Friday morning, Pelosi defended her trip to Taiwan. Her comments came during a visit to Tokyo, the last stop in the Speaker’s trip abroad.
“They may try to keep Taiwan from visiting or participating in other places, but they will not isolate Taiwan by preventing us to travel there,” Pelosi said. “They are not doing our travel schedule. The Chinese government is not doing that. Our friendship with Taiwan is a strong one. It is bipartisan in the House and the Senate overwhelming support for peace, the status quo in Taiwan.”