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Thursday, August 18, 2022

China sent warships and planes to Taiwan as tensions in the region increased

(CNN) — Chinese warships and planes conducted military drills in waters off Taiwan on Friday, the island’s defense ministry said, as tensions escalated in the region following US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit this week to the island.

The ministry said Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) forces crossed the midline, the midpoint between the island and mainland China, calling it a “highly provocative act”.

This line has previously been an informal but widely respected border control between Beijing and Taipei.

The ministry said Taiwan’s military responded to radio warnings and put air patrol forces, naval ships and ground-based missile systems on alert.

On Friday, Taiwan’s Prime Minister Su Tseng-chang said the island stood for “freedom and democracy” and that “the rogue neighbor flexed his muscles at our door and with arbitrary military exercises the most sabotage in the world”. Of” .

China conducts military exercises after Pelosi’s visit 1:30

The skies and waters around Taiwan have become a focal point as Beijing escalates tensions not only with Taiwan, but also with neighboring Japan, which lodged a formal protest with China after five projectiles landed in the zone. Japan’s Special Economic Zone (EEZ).

The missiles launched by Beijing on Thursday were among some of the missiles, some of which flew over Taiwan, as Pelosi was on her way to Tokyo, where she met with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on Friday.

China has previously fired missiles into the waters around Taiwan, a democratic island of 24 million that the Chinese Communist Party considers its territory, even though it never controlled it, especially during the Taiwan Straits Crisis in the 1990s. .

But the missiles flying over the island represented a significant increase, and US officials warned that there may be more to come.

US National Security Council spokesman John Kirby told reporters on Thursday, “We anticipate that China may take such steps – in fact, I told you in great detail that day.” “We also expect these actions to continue and that the Chinese will continue to respond in the coming days.”

“An American aircraft carrier will remain in the vicinity of Taiwan for several more days to monitor the situation,” Kirby said.

On Friday, Kishida called the Chinese military exercises “a serious problem concerning the security of our country and its people” and called for the exercise to be suspended immediately.

Japan and the United States “will work together to maintain stability in the Taiwan Strait,” he said.

Speaking in Tokyo on Friday, Pelosi accused China of trying to “isolate Taiwan”, pointing to the island’s boycott from international groups such as the World Health Organization.

“They may try to prevent Taiwan from visiting or participating in other places, but they will not isolate Taiwan by preventing us from traveling there,” he said.

He said his visit to Taiwan was about maintaining the status quo, not changing it.

Missiles “No Risk”

China began military drills around the island on Thursday, a day after Pelosi fired multiple missiles into the northeast and southwest of Taiwan.

A Chinese military expert confirmed on state broadcaster CCTV that conventional missiles flew over Taiwan’s main island, including airspace covered by Taiwanese missile defense.

“We hit targets under the observation of the US Aegis Combat System, which means that the Chinese military has solved the difficulties of hitting long-range targets in water,” said Major General Meng Jiangqing, professor of strategy at Beijing National. Defense University.

In a statement Thursday night, Taiwan’s defense ministry said the missiles had traveled above the atmosphere and therefore posed no threat to the island.

The ministry said officials did not activate air strike alerts because they predicted the missiles would land in waters east of Taiwan. The ministry said it would not release any further information about the missiles’ trajectories to protect its intelligence-gathering capabilities.

Japan’s Defense Ministry said on Thursday that five ballistic missiles were believed to have fallen inside Japan’s EEZ, four of which were fired over Taiwan.

“This is a serious problem that affects the security of Japan and the safety of its citizens. We strongly condemn it,” Japanese Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi said during a news conference.

China also sent 22 fighter jets to Taiwan’s Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) on Thursday, all of which crossed the midline.

This comes after a similar Chinese incursion across the middle line a day earlier.

Taiwan’s Defense Ministry said in a statement that 12 Sukhoi-30 fighter jets, eight J-11 fighter jets and two J-16 fighter jets conducted raids on Thursday.

Later on Thursday, the ministry said it detected four drones flying over “restricted waters” around the Taiwan-controlled Kinmen Islands near mainland China. The ministry said Taiwan’s military opened fire to warn drones, but did not specify the type or origin of the devices.

On Friday, a Taiwanese foreign ministry spokesman said the government’s English-language website and the ministry’s website had detected a large number of attacks on Tuesday, the day Pelosi landed in Taiwan. The spokesman said the IP addresses behind the attacks came from places other than China and Russia, aimed at paralyzing government sites.

What happens between China and Taiwan? 3:31

It said websites returned to normal after emergency repair work, but “large-scale attacks with malicious intent … by hostile forces abroad” continued on Thursday and Friday.

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In a speech on Thursday, Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen denounced China’s military exercises as “irresponsible” and said they marked a “deliberate and sustained escalation of military threats”.

“Let me emphasize that we do not seek to escalate conflicts or incite disputes, but we will defend our sovereignty and national security, as well as defend democracy and freedom,” he said.

He also thanked the Group of Seven, made up of the world’s largest economies, which issued a statement on Wednesday expressing concern over China’s live-fire exercise and urging Beijing not to change the status quo in the region.

The exercise has also caused disruption to flight and ship schedules, with some international flights being cancelled, while ships are being urged to use alternative routes to various ports around the island.

On Tuesday, China’s defense ministry said it would conduct its exercises in six areas around Taiwan, warning ships and aircraft to stay out of the areas during the exercise.

The Taiwan Strait is a major trade route for cargo-carrying ships between major Northeast Asian economies, such as China, Japan and South Korea, and the rest of the world.

CNN’s Gawon Bay and Yong Jeong in Seoul, Amiko Jozuka in Tokyo, Laura He in Hong Kong, Eric Cheung in Taipei and Sam Fossum in Washington contributed to this report.

World Nation News Desk
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