Taiwan today blamed its “evil neighbor next door” after China besieged the island in a series of military exercises, after being accused by the United States and other Western allies.
During Thursday’s military exercises that followed Friday, China launched ballistic missiles and deployed both fighter jets and warships around Taiwan.
The PLA has declared multiple no-go hazard zones around Taiwan, straddling some of the world’s busiest sea lanes and reaching within 20 kilometers of the island’s shores.
Beijing said the exercises would continue until noon on Sunday, and Taipei said Chinese fighter jets and ships crossed the “median line” down the Taiwan Strait on Friday morning.
“As of 11 a.m., multiple units of Chinese military aircraft and warships conducted exercises around the Taiwan Strait and crossed the Strait’s central line,” the defense ministry in Taipei said in a statement.
The median line is an unofficial but once widely guarded border that runs through the middle of the Taiwan Strait, which separates Taiwan from China.
Chinese incursions have become more common since Beijing declared that unofficial borders no longer exist in 2020.
Beijing called military exercises a “necessary” response to U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to an autonomous and democratic island, but Washington said China’s leaders “chosen to overreact.” ” he countered.
Pelosi defended her visit on Friday, saying Washington “will not allow” China to isolate Taiwan.
“From the beginning, we have said that our representatives are not about changing the status quo here in Asia, not about changing the status quo in Taiwan,” she told reporters in Tokyo on the final leg of her Asia tour. Told.
Meanwhile, Taiwan’s Prime Minister Su Tseng-chang called on allies to ease escalation.
“(We) never thought our evil neighbors would display their power at our door and arbitrarily endanger the world’s busiest waterway with their military exercises,” he said. told reporters.
China’s military exercises included “routine missile strikes” in waters east of Taiwan, the Chinese military said.
The state-run Xinhua News Agency said the Chinese military flew “more than 100 fighter planes, including fighters and bombers” and “more than 10 destroyers and frigates” during the exercises.
State broadcaster CCTV reported that a Chinese missile flew over Taiwan.
Japan also claimed that four of the nine missiles it detected were “believed to have flown over Taiwan’s main island.”
The Taipei military said it would not confirm the missile’s flight path.
China’s ruling Communist Party sees Taiwan as part of its territory and is committed to occupying it by force if necessary.
But the scale and intensity of the exercises have sparked outrage in the United States and other democracies.
“China overreacted and chose to use the Chairman’s visit as an excuse to increase its provocative military activity in and around the Taiwan Strait,” White House Press Secretary John Kirby told reporters.
“Temperatures are quite high,” he added, but “tensions could very easily go down just by forcing China to stop these very aggressive military exercises.”
Japan filed a formal diplomatic complaint with Beijing, and five of the missiles are believed to have landed in Japan’s exclusive economic zone.
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida called for an “immediate cessation of military drills”, saying China’s drills were “serious problems affecting Japan’s security and the safety of its people”.
But China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi said the US’ “flagrant provocations” had set a “terrible precedent”.
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 Maritime and Port Authority has warned ships to avoid waters used for Chinese training.
“Even if temporarily, the closure of these shipping routes will affect trade related to not just Taiwan, but Japan and South Korea,” Nick Maro, lead analyst for global trade at the Economist Intelligence Unit, said in a report. It also affects the flow of .
Taiwan said the drill would disrupt 18 international flights passing through the flight information area, and several international airlines told AFP that flights would be diverted.
But markets in Taipei appeared to hint at tensions, with the Taiwan Taiji Shipping Index, which tracks major shipping and airline stocks, up 2.3% early on Friday.
And analysts broadly agree that despite its aggressive stance, Beijing does not want an active military conflict with the United States and its allies over Taiwan.
“What Xi wants is not to accidentally ignite a war,” Titus Cheng, an associate professor of political science at Taiwan’s National Sun Yat-sen University, told AFP.
first published as Taiwan accuses ‘evil neighbor’ China of military exercises
Taiwan accuses ‘evil neighbor’ China in military exercises
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