Taiwan ‘Prepares for War’ Ahead of Speaker’s Visit, Air-raid Shelters Made; China Takes Measures

The White House warned China not to overreact to a trip by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to Taiwan, saying it would have every right to visit the self-ruled island, despite Beijing calling it considers a very provocative challenge.

China doesn’t need to turn Nancy Pelosi’s visit into a “crisis,” White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby told reporters, warning Beijing could “position” itself for a show of military strength around the island.

A spokesman for China’s foreign ministry has again warned that the People’s Liberation Army “will not stand idly by” when Pelosi visits. He did not elaborate on what actions China could take.

Here are the latest updates on Nancy Pelosi’s visit:

– Taiwan is preparing its air raid shelters as rising tensions with China and the Russian invasion of Ukraine raise new fears about the possibility of a Chinese attack on the democratic island. Preparations include designating shelters for people to take cover if Chinese missiles fly in, not in purpose-built bunkers, but in underground spaces such as basement parking garages, the subway system and underground shopping malls.
– Following Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan, Beijing has formulated a series of countermeasures, including military actions, according to journalist Xijin.
– Nancy Pelosi arrived in Malaysia on Tuesday for the second leg of an Asian tour that was clouded by an expected stop in Taiwan, which would escalate tensions with Beijing. The plane carrying Pelosi and her delegation landed at an air force base amid tight security, the national news agency Bernama reported.
Beijing has reacted furiously to Pelsoi’s visit, warned President Joe Biden that his government was “playing with fire” and announced a series of military exercises in the Taiwan Strait.
– US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will make her own decisions regarding a visit to Taiwan. “If the chairman decides to visit, and China tries to create some sort of crisis, or otherwise escalate tensions, it would be Beijing’s sole responsibility,” Blinken said.
– Taiwan is reported to have beefed up its military and revoked the furlough of officials and soldiers as it “prepares for war” with China during Pelosi’s visit to the country. According to reports, the military has mobilized air defense forces to “prepare for war immediately” after a high-level briefing.
– According to media reports, Pelosi, who is currently on an official Asia tour, will make a stop in Taiwan on Wednesday to meet President Tsai Ing-wen – if so, the highest US visit to Taipei in decades.
– The White House has warned that China may respond to Nancy Pelosi’s visit with military provocations, including firing missiles near Taiwan or large-scale air or naval activity, spokesman John Kirby said.
– The speaker started her tour of Asia on Sunday, with stops in Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea and Japan.
– She had originally planned to visit Taiwan in April, but postponed the trip after testing positive for Covid-19.

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