By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent Worthy News
China’s military said earlier that Friday’s exercises responded to the “wrong signal” the United States sent about Taiwan.
The People’s Liberation Army Eastern Theatre Command confirmed that China’s military deployed frigates, bombers, and fighter jets in the East China Sea area and around Taiwan.
Beijing blamed the lawmakers, who included chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Bob Menendez, for raising tensions with their “provocative” trip. China claims democratically ruled Taiwan as its territory and has pledged to regain control over the island of 23-million people by force if necessary.
In comments seen by Worthy News Saturday, Taiwan’s Foreign Ministry said China’s “military threats” would increase support for the island “from the United States and other democracies.”
The Foreign Ministry lashed out at China’s “recalcitrant and ridiculous” reaction to the first visit by a group of U.S. lawmakers this year.
“The threat of force by the Chinese Communist Party’s totalitarian government against Taiwan will only strengthen the Taiwanese people’s will to defend freedom and democracy. And [it] will also attract support for democratic Taiwan from the United States and even more democratic partners,” it claimed.
Taiwan would “continue to deepen cooperation with the United States and other like-minded countries. To defend the free and open Indo-Pacific region and prevent China’s “continuous expansion,” the ministry added.
In a video message to a forum organized by Taiwan independence groups on Saturday, Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen said Russia’s invasion of Ukraine showed the threat democracies face from authoritarianism.
Senator Ben Sasse, one of the six bipartisan legislators in Taiwan meeting President Tsai Ing-wen, warned Beijing that China could not bully the U.S. or its elected representatives. “The American people have no love of tyrants and instead instinctively support the freedom-loving people of Taiwan,” he stressed.
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