China announced on Monday it was once again organizing military drills in the waters and airspace around Taiwan after a five-member U.S. delegation landed on the island.
Senior Col. Shi Yi, spokesperson for the People’s Liberation Army’s Eastern Theater Command, said the drills would involve troops from multiple branches and are a “solemn deterrent” to the United States, whom Shi accused of playing “political tricks” and undermining peace in the region.
The U.S. delegation, which is led by Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.), also includes Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.), Rep. John Garamendi (D-Calif.), Rep. Alan Lowenthal (D-Calif.) and Del. Aumua Amata Coleman Radewagen (R-American Samoa). The group is expected to meet with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen, other officials and members of the private sector.
The trip comes after Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) led a delegation to the self-governing, democratic island earlier this month, angering Beijing, which views Taiwan as part of its territory. China similarly conducted military drills for multiple days near Taiwan after Pelosi’s visit.
Under the longstanding “One China” policy, the United States acknowledges Beijing’s claim to the island, while also vowing to honor the Taiwan Relations Act, in which the U.S. is committed to help provide the island with the means to defend itself without a promise of direct intervention if China invades.
Wang Wenbin, spokesperson for China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, urged the lawmakers at a press conference on Monday to stop “fudging” the U.S.-China diplomatic arrangements.
“China will take resolute and strong measures to defend national sovereignty and territorial integrity,” Wang said. “Associating themselves with the separatists in Taiwan and attempting to challenge the one-China principle is a misjudgment and will get these small number of U.S. politicians nowhere.”
Senior Col. Wu Qian, spokesperson for the Chinese Ministry of National Defense, echoed Wang’s warning on Monday, saying any breach of China’s plans to reunify with Taiwan is “doomed to fail.”
“[The trip] has brazenly violated the one-China principle and the provisions of the three China-US joint communiqués, infringed China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and sent erroneous signals to the ‘Taiwan independence’ separatist forces, fully revealed that the US is the true spoiler and saboteur of peace and stability in the Taiwan Straits,” Wu said on Monday.
During the previous round of military drills, Taiwan said the exercises were designed to simulate a future attack and violated the island’s sovereignty.