Reuters. Speaking with Taiwan’s Foreign Minister Joseph Wu before boarding a plane at Taipei Songshan Airport in Taipei, Taiwan on August 3, 2022, is U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi. via REUTERS, Taiwan Ministry of Foreign Affairs handout Submitted by Yimou Lee and David Brunnstrom
In response for a visit by U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Beijing reportedly practiced an attack on the island on Saturday, according to Taiwanese officials. Beijing also reportedly halted negotiations with Washington on a variety of topics, including climate change and defense.
Beijing was incensed by Pelosi’s brief visit to the self-governing island this week, which it believes to be part of its territory. This sparked unprecedented-scale military exercises around Taiwan, which included ballistic missiles fired over the capital, Taipei.
By cutting off vital communication lines with the United States, China was allegedly taking “irresponsible steps,” according to U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken. He also claimed that China’s actions regarding Taiwan demonstrated a shift away from peaceful resolution and toward the use of force.
Chinese ships and aircraft carried out operations in the Taiwan Strait on Saturday, according to Taiwan’s defense ministry, with some of them crossing the median line, an unofficial barrier dividing the two sides. The Taiwan military described the mission as a mock attack on the island.
Later, the ministry reported that Taiwan had sent out 20 Chinese aircraft, including 14 that had violated the median line, for warning. According to a statement from the ministry, it also discovered 14 Chinese military vessels engaged in activity in the Taiwan Strait.
China’s Eastern Theater Command reported that it has kept up its joint air and sea drills to the north, south, and east of Taiwan. It claimed that testing the system’s land attack and marine assault capabilities was its main objective.
The Chinese exercises, which are being conducted at six different places across the island, started on Thursday and are expected to remain till Sunday at noon.
An individual with knowledge of security preparations claimed that Chinese vessels and aircraft continued to “push” into the Taiwan Strait’s middle line on Saturday afternoon.
Chinese warships and drones practiced attacking American and Japanese warships off the east coast of Taiwan and near to Japanese islands, the source continued.
Taiwan’s army issued a warning, sent out ships and air reconnaissance patrol troops to keep watch, and placed shore-based missiles on alert.
A picture of a Taiwanese seaman on a frigate observing a nearby Chinese warship off Taiwan’s east coast was released by the island’s defense ministry. The caption read, “Absolutely not photoshopped! “.
Additionally, it claimed to have fired flares late on Friday to scare off seven drones and an unidentified aircraft from its Kinmen and Matsu islands. Both island chains are not far from the coast of China.
The Taiwanese defense ministry stated that China’s military exercises “had unilaterally changed the prevailing situation in the region and significantly harmed the peace in the Taiwan Strait.”
Despite Chinese concerns, Pelosi arrived in Taiwan late on Tuesday, making it the highest-level American visit to the island in decades.
China stated on Friday that it was ending talks with the United States in a number of areas, including contacts between theatre-level military commanders and on climate change, shortly after her group left Japan, the final destination on a week-long visit of Asia.
During a visit to the Philippines, Blinken said that although the United States had been receiving complaints from partners about what he called China’s risky and unstable moves near Taiwan, Washington will maintain its composure and work to prevent things from getting worse.
He claimed that China’s decision to end bilateral talks with the United States in eight important sectors was a move that would punish the entire globe, not just the US.
Blinken was spreading “misinformation,” according to China’s foreign minister Wang Yi, who added: “We wish to convey a caution to the United States: Do not act rashly, do not create a wider crisis.”
POLITICAL MILITARY EXERCISES
John Kirby, a spokesman for the White House’s national security team, stated on Friday that the Chinese “can go a long way to bringing down the tensions simply by ceasing these provocative military drills and ending the hyperbole.”
Senior military meetings, including as those with U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley, have not been suspended, according to China. Even though they haven’t happened often, officials have stated that they are crucial in an emergency.
Even if “not all routes” between military commanders had been closed, Kirby noted that it was not unusual for China to halt military discussions during tense times.
After meeting with Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, Pelosi declared in a speech delivered in Japan that her journey to Asia was “not about changing the status quo in Taiwan or the region.”
Up to four missiles were claimed to have flown over the capital of Taiwan, which is unusual, according to Japan’s defense ministry. Furthermore, it claimed that five out of nine missiles that were fired towards its territory did so within its exclusive economic zone.
According to the foreign ministry, Kishida sharply denounced China’s missile launches, calling them “a major issue involving Japan’s security and the safety of the Japanese people” in a meeting with visiting U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.
The Chinese Embassy in Australia, meanwhile, expressed Beijing’s hope that Australia will exercise caution when it comes to Taiwan-related matters and avoid following others’ lead, since doing so could strain bilateral relations.
Taiwan has been independently governed since 1949, when Mao Zedong’s communists seized control of Beijing following a civil war that saw Chiang Kai-Kuomintang shek’s nationalists defeated and driven to the island.
Beijing maintains that its relations with Taiwan are an internal concern and that it reserves the right, if necessary, to use force to annex the island. Taiwan disputes China’s assertions, claiming that only the people of Taiwan have the authority to determine their own future.