China It fired 11 missiles near Thursday Taiwan During the massive military exercises following the visit of the Speaker of the US House of Representatives to Taipei, Nancy Pelosi, which Washington considered an “exaggerated” reaction to the displays and insisted on reducing tensions. Despite Beijing’s warnings, Pelosi, who views Taiwan as part of its territory, made a lightning visit to Taipei on Tuesday in which she vowed the US would “not abandon” the autonomous island. On Thursday, he arrived in Japan for the last leg of his Asian tour.
to China, the initiative by a Democratic lawmaker, the president’s second in line of succession, was a “provocation.” In response, he began a series of military exercises TaiwanSpanning some of the world’s busiest shipping lanes.
Washington accused Beijing of “overreacting” to the visit Pelosi Y It warned that its aircraft carrier “USS Reagan” would continue to “surveill” Taiwan’s vicinity.. White House spokesman John Kirby said the intercontinental ballistic missile test had been postponed to prevent further escalation of tensions.
US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken expressed hope China “Don’t look for an excuse to increase your aggressive military operations.”
Beijing’s maneuvers include a “conventional missile strike.” In the waters off the east coast of TaiwanChinese military spokesman Shi Yi said.
Taiwan’s Defense Ministry confirmed the launch of “11 Dongfeng-type ballistic missiles” into waters off the north, south and east. Taiwan”.
And he said this 22 military aircraft crossed the “middle line” of the strait TaiwanAn unofficial but rarely crossed coordinate is halfway between the coasts of China and the coasts of the autonomous island.
But Pelosi He vowed in Tokyo that the US “will not allow” China to be isolated Taiwan.
“They may try to prevent Taiwan from traveling or participating in other places, but they will not isolate Taiwan by preventing us from traveling there,” Pelosi said.
He also clarified that his visit to Taipei was not to change the status quo in Asia. Taiwan“, but there must be peace in the Straits Taiwan And let the status quo continue.
Japan has called for an “immediate halt” to Chinese maneuvers after five missiles allegedly landed in its exclusive economic zone (EEZ) and indicated that four of them “may have flown over the island”. Taiwan”.
Speaking to reporters after breakfast with Pelosi in Tokyo, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida condemned the missile attack, calling it “a serious problem affecting our national security and the safety of our citizens.”
The biggest Chinese military exercises in recent decades will continue until Sunday.
Beijing has defended the drills, as well as others in recent days, as “necessary and necessary” and blamed the US and its allies for the escalation.
“In the current controversy over the arrival of Pelosi A TaiwanThe US is the provocateur and China is the victim,” said a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson.
A Chinese military source told AFP the drills were being conducted in “preparation for real war”.
“If Taiwanese forces contact the PLA (Chinese People’s Liberation Army) and accidentally fire a weapon, the PLA will take strict action and all consequences will be on the Taiwanese side,” he added.
The drills seek to simulate a “siege” of the island and include “attacks on targets at sea, attacks on targets on land and control of airspace,” the official Xinhua agency said.
The island’s officials condemned the maneuvers, calling them “an irrational act that challenges the international order.”
The hypothesis of an invasion of Taiwan, which has a population of 23 million, is unlikely. But since the election of current President Tsai Ing-wen in 2016, threats to its implementation have increased.
Unlike the previous government, Tsai, who belongs to an independent party, refuses to recognize that the island and the mainland are “one part”. China”.
In recent years, visits to Taipei by foreign officials and legislators have multiplied, raising Beijing’s ire.
in return, China It has sought to isolate Taiwan diplomatically and has increased military pressure against the island.
However, analysts told AFP China He didn’t seek to escalate a situation beyond his control, at least for now.
“The last thing Xi wants is an accidental war,” said Titus Chen, an associate professor of political science at National Sun Yat-sen University in Taiwan.
But Amanda Hsiao, an analyst China According to the International Crisis Group, “the announcement of Chinese military exercises reflects the current base of Chinese military operations around Taiwan and a clear escalation of the last crisis in the Taiwan Strait of 1995-1996.”
“By acting in this way, Beijing is indicating that it rejects any sovereignty of the Taiwanese authorities,” it added.
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