The Chinese military began its military drills this Thursday (08.04.022) with live fire around Taiwan, the exercise equivalent to a “sea and air blockade” of the island, according to Taiwan’s Defense Ministry.
The maneuver, which begins a day after a controversial visit to Taipei by the President of the US Legislature, Nancy Pelosi, involves the closure of maritime and airspace in six areas around the island, one of them about 20 miles off the coast of Kaohsiung. kilometers away. , the main city of southern Taiwan.
According to Taiwanese media, the Chinese exercise has affected 18 international air routes to the island and forced more than 900 flights to reroute.
Taiwan also said it closely monitors China’s major military exercises around the island and that its military prepares for conflict, but does not seek it. “The Ministry of National Defense maintains that it will maintain the principle of preparedness for war without calling for war, with an attitude not to escalate conflict or create controversy,” the ministry said in a statement.
Borrell condemns Beijing’s maneuver
The European Union’s diplomatic chief, Josep Borrell, on Thursday condemned the military exercises carried out by China and admitted that the head of the United States House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi’s visit to the island “was not a justification”.
“There is no justification for using a visit as an excuse for aggressive military activity in the Taiwan Straits. It is normal and routine for parliamentarians from our countries to travel internationally,” Borrell tweeted from Phnom Penh. ,
Pelosi continues her tour with a visit to Seoul
For his part, Pelosi met in Seoul this Thursday with his South Korean counterpart, Kim Jin-pyo, with whom he discussed the security situation in the region following a tense visit to Taiwan.
During the meeting, they addressed not only security issues, but also economic cooperation, according to details provided by the local Yonhap news agency at the end of the meeting.
Nancy Pelosi met her South Korean counterpart Kim Jin-pyo in Seoul on Thursday.
US legislators arrived from Taipei at Osan airport south of Seoul on Wednesday night, where they met with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen as part of a trip to power without officially announcing that they would visit China. severely criticized. , mobilize the military and retaliate against the island.
ASEAN fears ‘open conflict’
Meanwhile, this Thursday, foreign ministers for Southeast Asia warned that rising tensions around Taiwan could lead to “open conflict”.
Ministers of the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) said in a statement issued in Cambodia that the situation “could destabilize the region and ultimately lead to miscalculations, serious confrontations, open conflicts and dire consequences.” Unexpected among great powers”.
Jesse (EFE, AFP)