Air raid sirens blared in Taiwan’s capital Taipei on Monday and the military staged defense exercises as China reemphasized its threats to respond if House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visits the island.
Roads throughout Taipei emptied, stores closed, and people were directed to shelters or told to remain inside as sirens were sounded and “missile alert” text messages were sent in preparation for a possible Chinese attack.
At the same time, the military held its annual Han Kuang exercises involving air and sea drills and the mobilization of tanks and troops.
China has vowed to use force to reunite the nation because it views Taiwan, which is self-ruled, as a part of its territory. Warplanes from Beijing have also flown above Taiwan’s air defense identification zone.
On Monday, Zhao Lijian, a spokeswoman for the foreign ministry, mentioned the potential for reprisals once more.
The Pentagon and President Biden have both voiced worry that Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan will worsen already heightened relations between Washington and Beijing.
Despite dismissing the US military’s worries about Pelosi’s safety, she hasn’t stated if she would visit the 23 million-person island this summer.
Pelosi and anybody traveling with her to Taiwan would board US military planes.
The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Mark Milley, issued a warning on Sunday that China’s military has greatly increased its assertiveness in the Pacific during the last five years.
Milley stated, “The message is the Chinese military, in the air and on the sea, have become significantly more and noticeably more aggressive in this particular region,” citing the number of engagements between China, the US, and other nations in the region during that time.