August 13, 2022

Beijing– China said on Friday that more than 100 warplanes and 10 warships took part in live-fire military exercises in the vicinity Taiwan In the past two days, US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has been charged with announcing restrictions on travel to the self-governing island earlier this week.

The official Xinhua news agency said on Friday that fighter jets, bombers, destroyers and warships were used in a “joint interception operation” in six areas off the coast of Taiwan. China claims as its territory.

The Army’s Eastern Theater Command also fired new versions of the missiles, which were said to hit unidentified targets “with precision” in the Taiwan Strait.

These include projectiles fired in the Pacific at Taiwan, military officials told state media, in a major ratchet of China’s threat to seize the island by force.

The exercise, which Xinhua described as being held on an “unprecedented scale”, is China’s response to Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan this week. She is the highest-ranking American politician to visit Taiwan in 25 years.

China announced unspecified sanctions on Pelosi and her family. Such restrictions are usually mostly symbolic in nature.

A statement from the Chinese Foreign Ministry said Pelosi “disregarded the serious concerns of China and strongly opposed his visit”. It called Pelosi’s visit provocative and said it undermines China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

China opposes Taiwan’s association with foreign governments.

On the Chinese coast across Taiwan, tourists gathered on Friday to try to catch a glimpse of any military aircraft headed to the practice area.

Fighter jets can be heard flying overhead and tourists taking pictures, “Let’s get back to Taiwan,” looking out into the blue waters of the Taiwan Strait off Pingtan Island, a popular sightseeing destination.

China’s insistence that Taiwan is its territory and the danger of using force to bring it under its control has been in the ruling Communist Party’s propaganda, education system, and entirely state-controlled media for more than seven decades, since both The sides are divided between civil wars. in 1949.

The island’s residents overwhelmingly support maintaining the status quo of de facto independence and reject China’s demands that Taiwan unify with the mainland under Communist control.

Taiwan’s defense ministry said on Friday morning, China sent military ships and warplanes across the midline of the Taiwan Strait, an informal buffer zone between China and Taiwan for decades.

Japanese Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi said five of the missiles fired by China since military exercises began on Thursday landed in Japan’s exclusive economic zone from Hateruma, an island south of Japan’s main islands. He said Japan opposed the missile landing to China as a “serious threat to Japan’s national security and the safety of the Japanese people”.

Japan’s defense ministry later said it believed the other four missiles fired from Fujian, China’s southeast coast, flew over Taiwan.

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said on Friday that China’s military exercises aimed at Taiwan represent a “serious problem” that threatens regional peace and security.

In Tokyo, where Pelosi is ending her Asia trip, she said China cannot stop US officials from visiting Taiwan. Speaking after breakfast with Pelosi and his congressional delegation, Kishida said the missile launch “should be stopped immediately.”

China said it called on European diplomats in the country to protest statements criticizing the Group of Seven countries and the European Union’s threat of Chinese military exercises around Taiwan.

The Foreign Ministry said on Friday that Deputy Minister Deng Li made a “serious representation” about “unwanted interference in China’s internal affairs”.

Deng said China will “by all means and at any cost prevent the country from being divided with the strongest determination.”

“Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan is a clear political manipulation and a serious and serious violation of China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity,” Deng said. “In response to US-Taiwan collusion and provocation, China’s counterattack is only natural.”

China’s foreign ministry said the meeting took place on Thursday night but did not specify which countries participated. Earlier on Thursday, China canceled a meeting of foreign ministers with Japan to protest the G-7’s statement that there was no justification for the exercise.

Both the ministers were attending a meeting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in Cambodia.

China had earlier summoned US Ambassador Nicholas Burns to protest Pelosi’s visit. The speaker left Taiwan on Wednesday after holding meetings and other public events with President Tsai Ing-wen. He traveled to South Korea and then to Japan. Both countries host US military bases and may be involved in a conflict involving Taiwan.

According to the official Xinhua news agency, the Chinese exercise involves soldiers from the Navy, Air Force, Rocket Force, Strategic Support Force and Logistics Support Force.

Believed to be the largest geographically held near Taiwan, Beijing has announced six exercise areas around the island.

Addressing the exercise on Thursday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said, “I have great hope that Beijing will not create a crisis or make an excuse to increase its aggressive military activity. We countries around the world believe that the increase does not serve anyone and may have unintended consequences that do not serve anyone’s interests.”

US law requires the government to treat threats, including a blockade, to Taiwan as matters of “grave concern”.

The exercises are scheduled to run from Thursday to Sunday and include missile strikes at sea targets in the north and south of the island, in echoes of the last major Chinese military exercises aimed at intimidating Taiwanese leaders and voters in 1995 and 1996.

Taiwan has put its military on alert and conducted civil defense exercises, but the overall mood remained calm on Friday. Flights have been canceled or diverted and fishermen are in port to avoid Chinese drills.

In the northern port of Keelung, 63-year-old Lu Chuan-hsiong, who was enjoying a swim early on Thursday, said he was not worried.

“Everyone needs money, not pills,” Lu said.

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