Chinese helicopters encircle Taiwan in retaliation for visit to U.S. chairman

we House Speaker Nancy Pelosi no longer present Taiwanbut on Thursday China For the first time in 25 years, the island has fulfilled its promise to pay the price to host the highest-ranking U.S. government official.

China’s state broadcaster CCTV reported that the Chinese military’s Eastern Theater Command said it conducted long-range live-fire drills in the Taiwan Strait on Thursday.

Earlier in the day, Chinese state media said exercises simulating an air and sea “blockade” around Taiwan had begun on Wednesday, but provided little hard evidence to back up that claim.

A Chinese military helicopter passes Pingtan Island, one of the closest mainland Chinese points from Taiwan, August 4, 2022. (CNN)

“A long-range armed precision missile strike was conducted against selected targets in the eastern region of the Taiwan Strait,” the Eastern Theater Command said in a statement on its social media platform.

“All missiles hit their targets accurately,” he said. Details were not disclosed.

The military’s stance was a deliberate show of strength after Pelosi left the island Wednesday night for South Korea.

Within hours of her departure, Taiwan’s Ministry of Defense said China had dispatched more than 20 fighter jets across the central line of the Taiwan Strait.

On Thursday, Taiwan’s defense ministry said the Taiwanese military was maintaining a “normal” but cautious stance, and said the live-fire drill was an “irrational act” to “try to change the status quo”.

“We are closely monitoring enemy activity in Taiwan waters and outlying islands and will act appropriately,” the ministry said in a statement.

A projectile is launched from an unspecified location in China on Thursday, Aug. 4, 2022, in this image taken from video footage operated by China’s CCTV. (CCTV via AP) (AP)

“more complete” than previous exercises

Ma Cheng-kun, a professor at Taiwan’s National Defense University, said the exercise was intended to demonstrate the Chinese military’s ability to deploy precision weapons to cut Taiwan’s ties to the outside world and facilitate the landing of troops. said there is.

He said the announced training was “more complete” than previous training.

“If the PLA actually invades Taiwan with a full-scale aggression, the concrete actions it will take are all in this particular exercise,” Ma said.

“The main thing is that they cut off Taiwan’s connections with the outside world from the sea and suppress coastal defense forces,” he said.

pressure exercise

Long before Ms Pelosi’s nearly 24-hour visit to Taiwan, China warned that her presence was unwelcome. The ruling Chinese Communist Party claims the autonomous island as its own territory, even though it never ruled the island.

China has issued a map showing six zones around Taiwan that will be the training sites in the coming days. But on Thursday, Taiwan’s Maritime and Port Authority said in a notice that China had added a seventh military exercise area for ships and aircraft to avoid “waters around eastern Taiwan.”

Nancy Pelosi poses for a photo after being awarded the Order of Good Luck, which includes the Special Grand Ribbon, Taiwan’s highest civilian honor. (Getty)

“Chinese state media on Thursday outlined the broad objectives of the exercises, including striking land and sea targets.”

“The exercise focused on key training sessions such as joint blockades, attacks on maritime targets, attacks on ground targets, and airspace control operations, and the unit’s joint combat capabilities were tested in military operations,” Xinhua reported. It was attributed to the Eastern Theater Command of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) of the People’s Republic of China in charge of areas near Taiwan.

“Unprecedented” exercises with advanced weapons

on the other hand, global times The tabloids said the exercises included China’s latest and most sophisticated weaponry, including J-20 stealth fighters and DF-17 hypersonic missiles, some of which were fired over the island. said there is a possibility

“The exercise is unprecedented as it is expected that PLA conventional missiles will fly over the island of Taiwan for the first time.” global times citing an expert.

China has begun military exercises near Taiwan. The red part is where the People’s Liberation Army is training. (CNN)

“The PLA will enter an area within 12 nautical miles (22 km) of the island, and the so-called central line will cease to exist.”

Reports from Taiwan on Chinese military movements included fighter jets crossing the center line and reports from Taiwan’s government-run Central News Agency, which cited government sources. It is the southeastern coast of the island and is the closest place within 60 kilometers of land.

However, there was little corroborating or solid evidence to support the claims made by China. global times.

Chinese state television provided video of a fighter plane taking off, a ship at sea and a missile in motion, but could not confirm the date the video was taken.

Some analysts were skeptical that Beijing would be able to do what they threatened, such as a blockade of Taiwan.

Nancy Pelosi and Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen. (AP)

Alessio Patalano, a professor of warfare and strategy at King’s College London, said: “The official announcement[of a blockade]is only a few days away, so it would be difficult to see it as a real blockade.”

“Lockdowns are hard to implement and take time to implement. This exercise is not,” he said.

Patalano said the biggest impact of exercise will be psychological.

“During the period in question, ships and aircraft are likely to reroute to avoid the area, but this is one of the primary objectives of the chosen location, causing confusion, discomfort and worse. to create fear of

A projectile is launched from an unspecified location in China on Thursday, Aug. 4, 2022, in this image taken from video footage operated by China’s CCTV. (CCTV via AP) (AP)

Airplane and ship rerouting

China’s retaliatory exercises have already caused disruption to flight and shipping schedules on Taiwan, but the island is trying to mitigate the impact.

Taiwan’s transport minister said an agreement had been reached between Japan and the Philippines to reroute 18 international flights departing from the island to avoid live-fire exercises by the People’s Liberation Army.

And on Wednesday, Taiwan’s Shipping and Port Authority issued three notices urging ships to use alternative routes to seven ports around the island.

China’s planned live-fire drills have also caused anxiety in Japan.

Fishing boat owner Chou Ting-tai talks to crew while unloading seafood at Badouzi Fishing Port in Keelung, Taiwan, Thursday, August 4, 2022. (AP Photo/Johnson Lai) (AP)

Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno said the drill threatened Japan’s security.

Japan’s Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi said five of the missiles launched by China landed within Japan’s exclusive economic zone.

He said Japan protested the missile landing in China as a “serious threat to Japan’s national security and the safety of the Japanese people.”

One of the six training ranges set up by China was part of Okinawa Prefecture, near the Japanese island of Yonaguni, just 110 kilometers off the coast of Taiwan.

The same Chinese exercise zone is also close to the Japanese-controlled Senkaku Islands, the rocky, uninhabited islands known in China as the Diaoyu Islands, which Beijing claims sovereignty over.

In particular, there is a training area in the waters near Japan, and if China conducts live-fire exercises in that area, it could affect the security of Japan and the Japanese people.”

Meanwhile, the U.S. military remained silent about the Chinese exercises and did not respond to CNN’s questions on Thursday.

Taiwan has said it will closely monitor Chinese military movements around the island, as well as tighten security against cyberattacks and disinformation campaigns.

Taiwan’s cabinet spokesman Luo Ping said at a press conference on Wednesday that the government had strengthened security at key infrastructure points and raised cybersecurity vigilance levels across government agencies.

Taiwan expects an increase in “cognitive warfare”, citing disinformation campaigns used to sway public opinion, Lo said.

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Chinese helicopters encircle Taiwan in retaliation for visit to U.S. chairman

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