- Taiwan downplays concerns
- China holds unprecedented military drills around Taiwan
- Follows US House Speaker Pelosi’s visit to Taipei
- China says it will sanction Pelosi for his ‘violent’ actions
- Japan’s Pelosi joins PM Kishida in condemning China
TAIPEI, Aug 5 (Reuters) – China’s missile fire during military exercises around Taiwan constitutes an unwarranted escalation, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said, as Beijing announced it would impose sanctions to Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi for visiting the island.
Diplomatic relations deteriorated further on Friday, with China’s foreign ministry announcing it would cancel dialogues between US and Chinese military leaders and suspend bilateral talks on climate and maritime security. Read more
Blinken said Washington has repeatedly let Beijing know it is not looking for a crisis, as diplomatic turmoil continued over Pelosi’s visit this week to the self-governing island that Beijing considers its sovereign territory. .
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“There is no justification for this extreme, disproportionate and incremental military response,” Blinken said at a press conference on the sidelines of the ASEAN Regional Forum in Cambodia. He added, “Now they have taken the dangerous acts to a new level.”
China kicked off its largest-ever military exercises in the seas and skies around Taiwan on Thursday, a day after Pelosi enraged Beijing by carrying out a solidarity trip to the island, the highest level of American visitors to Taiwan. in 25 years. Live fire exercises are scheduled to continue until Sunday noon.
On Friday, the Chinese military conducted air and sea exercises north, southwest and east of Taiwan “to test the troops’ joint combat capabilities”, the Army’s Eastern Theater Command said. People’s Liberation (APL) in a statement on its official Weibo website. Account.
Blinken stressed that the United States would not take action to provoke a crisis, but would continue to support regional allies and conduct standard air and sea transit across the Taiwan Strait.
“We will fly, navigate and operate wherever international law permits,” he said.
The White House summoned Chinese Ambassador Qin Gang on Thursday to condemn the escalating actions against Taiwan, The Washington Post reported.
State Department officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment on China’s halt to talks or the report that Washington had summoned the ambassador from Beijing.
China’s Foreign Ministry announced on Friday that it would impose sanctions on Pelosi and his immediate family in response to his “vicious” and “provocative” actions. Read more
“Despite China’s serious concerns and firm opposition, Pelosi insisted on visiting Taiwan, seriously interfering in China’s internal affairs, undermining China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, trampling China’s political ‘one China and threaten the peace and stability of the Taiwan Strait,’ a Foreign Ministry spokesperson said in a statement. Read more
The Foreign Ministry said it was also suspending cooperation on cross-border crime prevention and the fight against narcotics, as well as cooperation on the repatriation of illegal migrants.
Speaking in Japan, Pelosi said her trip to Asia was never meant to change the regional status quo. Read more
About 10 Chinese navy ships and 20 military aircraft briefly crossed the center line of the Taiwan Strait on Friday morning, a Taiwanese source briefed on the matter told Reuters. Read more
Earlier, Taiwan’s defense ministry said the island’s military had sent planes and ships and deployed land-based missile systems to monitor the situation there.
On Thursday, China fired several missiles into the waters surrounding Taiwan in an unprecedented escalation during live-fire exercises.
Japan’s Defense Ministry, which tracks the drills, first reported that up to four of the missiles flew over the Taiwanese capital. It also said that five of the nine missiles fired at its territory landed in its exclusive economic zone (EEZ), also a first, prompting diplomatic protest from Tokyo.
Later, Taiwan’s defense ministry said the missiles were high in the atmosphere and posed no threat. He gave no details of their flight paths, citing intelligence issues.
Some Taipei residents, including Mayor Ko Wen-je, criticized the government for not issuing a warning about the missile, but a security expert said it could have been done to avoid stoking panic and play China’s game.
“It counteracted the effect of the Chinese Communist Party’s psychological warfare,” said US-based analyst Mei Fu-shin. “The shock and fear weren’t as great as they could have been.”
Asked to comment on the missiles, Taiwanese Prime Minister Su Tseng-chang did not directly respond, but called China “an evil neighbor showing off its might on our doorstep.” Read more
“In my view, the biggest threat is China doing a rehearsal for a blockade, demonstrating that it can block Taiwan’s ports and airports and impede shipping,” said Bonnie Glaser, Asia security specialist. based in Washington at the German Marshall Fund of the United States.
Responding to the Chinese drills, President Tsai Ing-wen said Taiwan will not provoke conflicts but will firmly defend its sovereignty and national security.
Taiwan has been self-governing since 1949, when Mao Zedong’s communists seized power in Beijing after defeating Chiang Kai-shek’s Kuomintang (KMT) nationalists in a civil war, prompting the KMT-led government to withdraw to the ‘island.
Beijing has said its relationship with Taiwan is an internal matter. He says he reserves the right to bring Taiwan under Chinese control, by force if necessary.
In Tokyo, Pelosi addressed the diplomatic furor caused by the congressional delegation’s week-long trip to Asia, and specifically to Taiwan.
“We said from the start that our representation here was not aimed at changing the status quo in Taiwan or in the region,” she told a news conference after meeting Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida.
“I have informed President Pelosi that the fact that Chinese ballistic missiles have landed near Japanese waters, including the EEZ, threatens our national security and Japan has strongly condemned such actions,” Kishida said.
China’s foreign ministry said it summoned Japan’s ambassador and a Canadian diplomat to Beijing on Thursday over a ‘erroneous’ Group of Seven (G7) statement on Taiwan, and also filed complaints with EU envoys.
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Reporting by Yimou Lee and Sarah Wu in Taipei Additional reporting by Elaine Lies and Tim Kelly in Tokyo, Greg Torode in Hong Kong, Ann Wang on Liuqiu Island; Susan Heavey in Washington; Written by Tony Munroe, Raju Gopalakrishnan, Simon Cameron-Moore and Frances Kerry Editing by Mark Heinrich, Frances Kerry and Toby Chopra
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