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Chinese military action in response to Taiwanese Vice President William Lai stopover in the US

Any Chinese military action in response to Taiwanese Vice President William Lai stopover in the US would be an attempt by Beijing to interfere in the island’s elections, Lai said during a trip to Paraguay. Taiwanese officials say China could begin military exercises this week and use Lai’s stopover in the United States as a pretext to intimidate voters ahead of next year’s election and make them “fear war.”

China, which claims Taiwan as its own territory, has a particular dislike for Lai, who previously described himself as a “practical worker for Taiwan independence”. He is the frontrunner to become the next president in the election in January.

Lai said such “US transits were routine and China had no reason to use them as a pretext to “verbally and militarily intimidate Taiwan” If China uses the transits as a pretext to resume verbal and military intimidation or other threatening methods, it will only confirm international media reports that China is trying to interfere in Taiwan’s elections with military threats”.

Taiwanese Vice President William Lai says

Taiwan’s defense ministry said on Tuesday it had not yet seen any large-scale Chinese maneuvers near the island. In April, China staged war games around Taiwan after President Tsai Ing-wen returned from California, where she met with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy en route from Central America.

China condemned Lai’s stop in New York he is due to return to San Francisco on Wednesday on his way back to Taipei and said he was a separatist “troublemaker”.

Both Taiwan and the United States have tried to keep Lai’s stopovers in the U.S. low-key, and Lai said there were “no special arrangements” for meetings with U.S. officials.

China regards Taiwan as its most sensitive and important political and diplomatic issue and a constant source of Sino-US friction.

Chinese Defense Minister Li Shangfu told a conference in Moscow on Tuesday that “playing with fire on the Taiwan issue and futile efforts to dominate China with Taiwan must end in failure”.

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