China launched ballistic missiles on Thursday, deployed fighter jets and warships, and conducted its largest-ever military exercises around Taiwan. This is a show of power ignited by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to the island.
Pelosi has been the most high-profile US official in years, defying a series of harsh threats from Beijing, which views Taiwan as its territory.
The Chinese military said the exercise began around noon local time (0400 GMT), with a “routine missile strike” in waters east of Taiwan.
Taipei did not say where the missile landed or whether it flew over the island.
Tokyo has submitted a diplomatic protest to Beijing over the exercises, and Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi said five missiles were believed to have landed in the country’s exclusive economic zone.
An AFP journalist on the border of Pingtan Island saw several small projectiles fly into the sky, followed by white smoke and a loud bang.
Beijing said the training will continue until noon on Sunday.
Beijing has defended the drills as “necessary and justified” and blames the United States and its allies.
Military analysts told Beijing’s state broadcaster CCTV that the aim was to blockade the island as much as possible and contain the separatists.
Military expert Meng Xiangqing stressed that “the operation is taking place in unprecedented proximity to the island of Taiwan”.
US Secretary of State Antony Brinken said Washington had contacted Beijing in recent days “at all levels of government” asking for calm and stability.
At the same meeting, Japan’s foreign minister called for an “immediate halt” to Chinese military exercises near Taiwan.
The operation follows some of the busiest shipping routes on the planet used to supply global markets with critical semiconductors and electronics produced in East Asian factory hubs.
Taiwan’s cabinet said the exercise would disrupt 18 international routes passing through the Flight Information Area (FIR).
Taiwan’s 23 million people have long lived with the prospect of invasion, but the threat has intensified under President Xi Jinping, China’s most assertive ruler in a generation. I’m here.
Amanda Xiao, senior analyst for China at the International Crisis Group, said: “China’s announced military exercises reflect the existing baseline of China’s military activity around Taiwan and the 1995-1996 Taiwan Strait Crisis. It represents a clear escalation of
Nevertheless, analysts told AFP that China, at least for now, is not looking to escalate the situation out of control.
first published as China fires missiles around Taiwan in large-scale military exercises
China fires missiles around Taiwan in large-scale military exercises
Source link China fires missiles around Taiwan in large-scale military exercises