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China's swipe at Australia over Taiwan escalation

China has taken aim at the US's allies for not stepping in and dissuading Nancy Pelosi from visiting Taiwan.

Beijing has lambasted the US House Speaker over her controversial visit, calling it an "egregious provocation" to the one-China policy.

China has retaliated by commencing unprecedented military drills in waters surrounding Taiwan, a move it believes is justified to defend its sovereignty and deter foreign interference in what it deems internal matters.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying attends a news conference in Beijing, China, August 2, 2022.   REUTERS/Thomas Peter
China's Assistant Foreign Minister Hua Chunying says the US's allies should shoulder some blame for the escalation. Source: Reuters (Thomas Peter / reuters)

Australia's Foreign Minister Penny Wong said in a statement on Friday the response from Beijing was "deeply concerning" and is "disproportionate and destabilising".

But China's Assistant Foreign Minister Hua Chunying criticised such comments, saying nations expressing concern over the situation did little to prevent such an outcome.

"Our countermeasures are necessary as a warning to the provocateurs and as a step to uphold our sovereignty and security," she said.

"Now the US and its sidekicks have spoken up accusing China of “overreacting”.

"But if they truly care about regional peace and stability, why hadn’t they stood up and tried to dissuade Pelosi early on? Couldn’t they have seen this coming and prevented it?"

Australia's Foreign Minister Penny Wong (L) bumps elbows with China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi during their bilateral meeting on the sidelines of G20 Foreign Ministers Meeting in Nusa Dua on Indonesia's resort island of Bali on July 8, 2022. (Photo by Johannes P. CHRISTO / POOL / AFP) (Photo by JOHANNES P. CHRISTO/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Australia's Foreign Minister Penny Wong, pictured with her Chinese counterpart Wang Yi, has criticised China's response to Ms Pelosi's visit. Source: Getty (JOHANNES P. CHRISTO via Getty Images)

Ms Hua went on to list dozens of countries and political parties she says have criticised the US over Ms Pelosi's visit, saying 80 to 90 per cent of the world's population is "standing with China".

"I hope that the US and its handful of “buddies” will realise that if they do respect the principle of democracy, then they should hear and respect the voice of the more than 1.4 billion Chinese people."

Experts say China's response was inevitable

Noting that Taiwan is an inalienable part of China, several experts have warned Ms Pelosi's visit will undermine stability across the Taiwan Strait.

"What the American visit means now is to put China into difficult position, somehow to control the area. It is a violation of international law," said Huseyin Bagci, head of the Turkish Foreign Policy Institute.

"The whole world has come to accept that China is to be dealt with on the basis of one-China policy. It is unfortunate that the United States chooses to fan the flames of conflict over Taiwan,” said Fredrick Mutesa, secretary general of the Zambia-China Friendship Association.

Peter Kagwanja, president of the Africa Policy Institute, said Pelosi will gain nothing from her irresponsible action but be regarded as a provocateur by history.

"I think it was very irresponsible for the Speaker to make that trip to China's Taiwan region. I would not say that the Speaker of the American congress has gained anything. She'll go down in history as a provocateur,” said Kagwanja.

Taiwan's defence ministry said on Friday it scrambled jets to warn away Chinese aircraft that it said entered the island's air defence zone, some of which crossed the Taiwan Strait median line, an unofficial buffer separating the two sides.

A total of 68 Chinese military aircraft and 13 navy ships had conducted missions in the strait, the ministry said.

China's Eastern Theater Command of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) said in a statement it conducted air and sea drills to the north, southwest and east of Taiwan on Friday "to test the troops' joint combat capabilities."

With Reuters

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