On Friday, RedState reported on China’s angry words in reaction to House Speaker Kevin McCarthy meeting with Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-Wen at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California. As my colleague Jennifer Van Laar wrote, China “announced sanctions against the Library and two of its officials. In addition, China announced sanctions against the Hudson Institute and two of its officials, who also met with the Taiwanese delegation recently.”
She also included a statement from The Foreign Ministry’s spokesperson, which railed against the meeting, and read, in part:
This is a serious violation of the one-China principle and the provisions of the three China-US joint communiqués. It seriously infringes upon China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and sends an egregiously wrong signal to the “Taiwan independence” separatist forces. China will take strong and resolute measures to defend our sovereignty and territorial integrity.
Now, we’re learning what “strong and resolute measures” China meant.
FUZHOU, China/TAIPEI, April 8 (Reuters) – Seventy-one Chinese military aircraft crossed the sensitive median line of the Taiwan Strait on Saturday as China began drills around Taiwan in anger at President Tsai Ing-wen’s meeting with the speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives.
The three-day drills, announced the day after Tsai returned from the United States, had been widely expected after Beijing condemned her Wednesday meeting with Speaker Kevin McCarthy in Los Angeles.
Beijing’s announcement also came just hours after China hosted a visit by senior European leaders.
The Chinese army released a statement, echoing the Chinese foreign ministery’s angry words after the Taiwan-U.S. meeting:
“This is a serious warning to the Taiwan independence separatist forces and external forces’ collusion and provocation, and it is a necessary action to defend national sovereignty and territorial integrity,” the Chinese army’s Eastern Theatre Command said in a statement.
Here was the “calm,” measured response from Taiwan’s Defence Ministry:
Taiwan’s Defence Ministry said as of 4 p.m. (0800 GMT) on Saturday it spotted 71 Chinese aircraft, including fighter jets and bombers, crossing the median line that normally serves as an unofficial barrier between the two sides, as well as nine Chinese ships.
China was using Tsai’s U.S. visit “as an excuse to carry out military exercises, which has seriously damaged regional peace, stability and security”, the ministry said in a statement.
“The military will respond with a calm, rational and serious attitude, and will stand guard and monitor in accordance with the principles of ‘not escalating nor disputes’ to defend national sovereignty and national security.”
As this is an ongoing situation, we’ll keep you posted as more details emerge.