Beijing may declare a no fly zone to deter the US House Speaker’s visit to Taipei
Multiple reports suggest that China might use warplanes or missile drills to block Nancy Pelosi (US House of Representatives) from visiting Taiwan. According to media reports, neither the California Democrat nor her husband have confirmed or denied any plans to visit Taiwan in March.
Beijing could declare a no-fly zone or restrict navigation by conducting military exercises near the Taiwan Strait, forcing Pelosi’s aircraft “to make a detour,”According to the South China Morning Post, Wednesday’s news was reported by military experts.
CNN similarly quoted a White House official on Friday as voicing concern that China may announce a no-fly zone in an attempt to derail Pelosi’s possible trip. The New York Times reported Monday that US officials stated that China may send warplanes. “escort” Pelosi’s aircraft and prevent it from landing.
Pelosi will be the US House of Representatives’ first sitting speaker to visit Taiwan since 1997. China claims Taiwan, which is governed by an independent government since the 1940s as its territory, and rejects diplomatic recognition from the Taipei authorities.
Last week Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said that it would have a “grave impact”China-American ties are being violated by the One China policy as well as existing agreements between Washington, Beijing.
On Tuesday, Tan Kefei, a spokesman for China’s Defense Ministry, warned that Beijing will “take strong measures to thwart any external interferences”Taiwan. Global Times, a Chinese newspaper of state reporting that China’s military might launch missile drills to target targets “any possible US aircraft carriers and other large military vessels that may be involved in Pelosi’s visit.”
During his regular press briefing on Thursday, US State Department spokesman Ned Price said Pelosi’s possible trip remained “a hypothetical.”
“I’m not going to be offering any advice from this podium,”He explained that the White House did not support Pelosi’s trip to Taiwan.
Former and present US officials went to Taiwan between March and April. They drew the ire from Beijing. Taipei accused China for increasing flybys of military aircrafts close to the island over the past months. Beijing criticised Taiwan officials and the US as they made deals to provide weapons to the island.