The UAE’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs affirmed its respect for Beijing’s ‘One China’ principle, in a statement released following US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s controversial visit to Taiwan.
The UAE, in the statement, “indicated its concern over the impact of any provocative visits on stability and international peace,” likely aimed at Pelosi’s Taiwan visit that angered China.
The statement, issued on Thursday by the UAE’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, said the country “affirmed its support for China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. The top US diplomat for the Middle East warned Thursday against China’s growing influence in the Middle East, saying that it “requires our attention.”
“We must be careful to discern signal from noise within this growing volume of economic activity, but we must also remain attuned to trends that may more directly impinge upon US interests,” Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Barbara Leaf told US lawmakers. Pelosi defied China’s threats and flew to Taiwan on Tuesday, making her the highest-ranking elected US official to do so since 1997.
China repeatedly threatened that it would not stand “idly by” if Pelosi made the trip, going so far as threatening military action. China sent 22 fighter jets across the “median line” running down the Taiwan Strait on Thursday, Taipei’s defense ministry said in its latest briefing on large-scale military drills conducted by Beijing’s forces.
The Ministry of National Defense said “air defense missile systems” were deployed to track the jets and radio warnings were broadcast, according to an update on its website.
The median line is an unofficial but largely adhered to border that runs down the middle of the Taiwan Strait, which separates Taiwan and China. It is rare for military jets to cross it.
China’s military maneuvers makes this event some of its largest-ever exercises encircling Taiwan, in a show of force straddling vital international shipping lanes after a visit to the island by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Set to last until Sunday, the exercises will take place in multiple zones around Taiwan - at some points within just 20 kilometers (12 miles) of the shore.