China’s military has sent planes and warships to probe Taiwan’s defenses for a second day, escalating a crisis that prompted one of the island’s richest men to donate millions of dollars to its security.
Taiwan’s Ministry of Defense said on Friday that a number of Chinese warplanes and warships were operating near Taiwan’s coast until 11:00 a.m., along the middle line on Taiwan’s side, the threat of conflict in an irregular division of the Gulf established by the United States decades ago.
Robert Tsao, founder of contract chipmaker United Microelectronics Corp., has announced that he is donating NT$3bn ($100mn) to Taiwan’s defense.
“Because the Chinese Communist Party is so cruel to Taiwan, do you think that the people of Taiwan are all afraid of death and want money?” He said in a fiery press conference. “But I hope so. . . We stand up and fight for freedom, democracy and human rights.
Earlier, Tsao told Taiwanese media that his two sons would return home if China invaded. The latest comments come from a top tycoon in Taiwan’s tech-hardware sector since the start of military exercises this week.
Last week, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. Chairman Mark Liu told CNN, “Nobody can take control of TSMC by force.”
In the year China’s unprecedented live-fire war games, sparking the biggest cross-border crisis since the 1990s, began this week in Taiwan to punish US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to the country.
China’s foreign ministry said Friday afternoon it would impose sanctions on Pelosi and members of her immediate family.
“U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has insisted that she must go to Taiwan, ignoring China’s serious threat and strong opposition. This. . . The ministry does not specify the scope of the punishment, which seriously violates the principle of ‘One China’.
On the final leg of a five-nation tour, Pelosi met with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, condemning China’s missile launches and calling for an immediate end to military exercises.
Pelosi said at the press conference that the visit to Taiwan was not intended to change the status quo, but because of China’s repeated attempts to isolate Taiwan from the rest of the world.
Pelosi and Kishida spoke hours after China fired ballistic missiles into Japan’s exclusive economic zone for the first time.
China’s official media has sought to drum up support for the exercises following international protests. The PLA Daily, the military’s mouthpiece, said the exercise was aimed at “defensive action” after Taiwan and the US joined forces to change the situation in the Taiwan Strait, reflecting a warning from Beijing. Ukraine in February.
Meng Xingqing, a professor at the National Defense University in Beijing, said the US aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan was forced to retreat after the People’s Liberation Army set up firing positions east of Taiwan.
Pelosi’s trip to Asia underscored the diplomatic dilemma for regional leaders amid tensions between the world’s two largest economies. On Thursday, South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol declined to meet with Pelosi during her visit to Seoul, citing increasing Chinese pressure on the administration’s trade and defense ties with the United States.
The apparent snub was enjoyed by Chinese media and netizens. “Pelosi does not appear to be popular in Seoul,” wrote the Chinese state-owned Global Times, a national tabloid.
Additional reporting by Maiqi Ding in Beijing and Tom Mitchell in Singapore