According to Reuters, China is sending military aircraft to the midline of the Taiwan Strait as it holds military exercises in the South China Sea and Yellow Sea. Military experts say China's show of arms is a warning to Taiwan and the U.S. ahead of Nancy Pelosi's visit. Taiwan's military has not raised its combat preparedness alert level but will be stepping up combat preparations for the next three days.
China has announced air defense drills off the coast of Fujian Province ahead of Nancy Pelosi's arrival in Taiwan. This video released by China's Eastern Theater Command shows enemy forces being buried. Apart from the live-fire drills, China is also holding live-fire military exercises in the South China Sea, Bohai Sea and Yellow Sea. Military experts in Taiwan say China's show of arms is a warning to Taiwan and the U.S. not to engage in political and military exchanges. The experts also say while there are no signs of an imminent invasion of Taiwan, misfires and accidents must be avoided.
Chieh Chung, Researcher, Association of Strategic Foresight: “There are no signs China is planning to take Taiwan by force, but we must rally the troops and make large-scale preparations for supplies and soldiers. Once we're fully prepared, we can turn our attention to (guarding against) accidents.”
In response to the PRC threat and ostensibly to protect Pelosi's aircraft, the USS Ronald Reagan is currently sailing in the South China Sea. Taiwan's military and Chihhang Air Base in Taitung are also standing by. The Air Force has scrambled eight armed Mirage fighters to the base and the Navy has sent two anti-submarine helicopters to the base as well.
Chang Yen-ting, Former Deputy Air Force Commander: “The Mirages will be responsible for defending the air, while IDFs taking off from Tainan Airport can provide support. This will provide adequate air defense in the Bashi Channel.”
According to Reuters, several PLA aircraft have been spotted near the midline of the Taiwan Strait. The military has not raised its combat preparedness alert level but will be strengthening combat preparedness in the next three days. Chang Yen-ting says the military should be prepared for further harassment from China.