Taiwan conducted extensive air raid drills Monday to warn America against Nancy Pelosi (the House Speaker), visiting the island.
Pelosi will continue to travel to the island as per her plans. Warnings from the Chinese foreign ministry that this trip could have serious consequences for the U.S. were doubled by Pelosi.
“The Chinese side has made it clear to the U.S. on many occasions that it is firmly opposed to Speaker Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan. We are fully prepared,” foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said Monday.
“If the U.S. goes its own way, China will certainly take firm and forceful measures to safeguard its national sovereignty and territorial integrity, and the United States should be held responsible for any serious consequences,” he added.
Taiwan is holding air raid drills throughout the country as a precaution against possible military action from China. Taipei, the capital of the nation, could be heard blasting sirens, which signaled residents to evacuate the streets. This was for 30 minutes.
It also tested its missile warning systems, which send mass text messages to residents in case of an incoming attack.
High-profile U.S. delegations have consistently visited Taiwan over the past year as tensions between the U.S. and China escalate. Six U.S. congressmen made a surprise visit to the island in April, representing the most senior-level U.S. officials to ever visit Taiwan.
The bipartisan group included Republican Sens. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Ben Sasse of Nebraska, Richard Burr of North Carolina, and Rob Portman of Ohio, Republican Texas Rep. Ronny Jackson, and Democratic New Jersey Sen. Bob Menendez.
China also condemned their visit, and the foreign ministry stated that it “firmly opposes all form of official interaction between China’s Taiwan region and the U.S.”
In late April, Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) also visited the island and announced a new partnership between Taiwan’s defense forces and the U.S. National Guard.
Pelosi’s position in the House as speaker would mean that she is one of the most powerful officials to make a diplomatic trip to Taiwan. Since Newt Gingrich in 1997, Taiwan has not had a House speaker visit.