Taiwan has reportedly begun preparations for a war with China amidst US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit. The country has put its military on high alert and even cancelled the leave of some officials and soldiers as it ‘prepares for war’ with China.
According to Taiwan news outlets, the military has mobilised the air defence forces to “immediately prepare for war” after a high-level briefing.
These preparations come as US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi began her tour of four Asian countries, which started on Monday. Local media in Taiwan reported that Pelosi will arrive on Tuesday night, becoming the highest-ranking elected US official to visit in more than 25 years.
A US official’s visit will spark fury in China, which regards Taiwan as its own territory and has repeatedly warned of “serious consequences” if the reported trip goes ahead.
“Those who play with fire will perish by it. We would like to once again admonish the US that we are fully prepared for any eventuality and the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) will never sit idly by,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian was quoted as saying.
The US administration has attempted to reassure Beijing there was no reason to “come to blows” and that such a visit would signal no change in US policy on Taiwan.
Taiwan and China split in 1949 after the Communists won a civil war on the mainland. Both sides say they are one country but disagree over which government is entitled to national leadership. They have no official relations but are linked by billions of dollars of trade and investment.
Last week, Chinese President Xi Jinping also warned the US against meddling in Beijing’s dealings with Taiwan in a phone call with US President Joe Biden.