TAIWAN is reportedly “preparing for war” with China after Beijing vowed to impose a no fly zone in a bid to scupper Nancy Pelosi’s visit.
The US Speaker of the House’s proposed trip has exacerbated the already fragile relationship between Washington and Beijing.
Despite Pelosi refusing to confirm whether she will stop by Taiwan on her tour of Asia, China is preparing to disrupt her route at all costs.
The nation has already warned they will not “sit idly by” while the US interferes in their pursuit of regaining control of the disputed territory.
The Chinese government and military strongly object all foreign visits and shows of support for Taiwan – but the House Speaker’s trip has struck an explosive chord due to her vocal criticism of the nation.
As officials fear the tensions could escalate into an international crisis, Taiwanese soldiers are reportedly being called back from leave.
According to local media, troops have been told to “immediately prepare for war” while air defence forces are said to have been mobilised in anticipation.
In response to Pelosi’s proposed visit, China have amped up military drills close to the self-governing island to make their stance known.
Chinese military exercises will continue in the South China Sea throughout this week, after US warships scrambled to the ocean.
Four J-16 Chinese fighter jets entered Taiwan’s air defense identification zone on Monday.
It comes amid rumours Pelosi will arrive in Taiwan’s capital, Taipei, tomorrow evening, where she is expected to stay overnight.
She will likely have to make a clandestine arrival on the island if the trip goes ahead.
China is now considering establishing a no fly zone in the Taiwan Straits to stop Pelosi’s plane from landing on the island, according to the Global Times.
Beijing-based naval expert Wang Yunfei said: “Such a measure is pretty severe – it warns of the worst situation first.
“Otherwise the consequences will be at the US’ own risk.”
The retired PLA Navy officer said the aircraft Pelosi may travel in could even be surrounded by Chinese military planes tracking and monitoring her movements.
‘BURY ANY ENEMY’
US officials have already expressed concerns regarding the politician’s safety on the visit, President Joe Biden revealed last week.
And in an ominous phone call on Thursday, he was warned by President Xi Jinping: “Those who play with fire will perish by it.”
It makes China’s public admissions that they will take “strong measures” even more alarming for the House Speaker.
There are also fears military forces – land, sea and air – will swarm Taiwan to tighten the pressure on the high-profile visit.
China’s PLA Eastern Theater Command released a dramatic video showcasing their military abilities in what appears to be another warning.
The caption of the concerning clip read: “Stand ready and fight, bury any enemy that comes.”
And the country has reportedly sounded their chilling “war signal” in official circles – which was issued before their last two major conflicts.
The phrase, “Don’t say we didn’t warn you”, has now been frequently referred to in discussions amid the soaring tensions.
Analysts said the US administration’s response to the plans and China’s feverish reaction meant it was hard to de-escalate the situation without either country appearing weak.
Pelosi – an outspoken supporter of Taiwan – was originally scheduled to travel to Taipei in April but pulled out at the last minute after testing positive for coronavirus.
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