Taiwan’s Taipei On Thursday, China started the military exercises it had vowed to conduct in the skies and oceans surrounding Taiwan, which Beijing claims. Taiwan is preparing for possible repercussions from the visit of U.S. Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Starting at 1:56 p.m. (1:56 a.m. ET), the People’s Liberation Army of China launched four ballistic missiles into the waters near northeastern and southern Taiwan, according to Taiwan’s military news agency and the defense ministry. The ministry criticized China’s actions, calling them unreasonable, and claimed that they threatened the stability of the region.
The PLA had started what are thought to be the first live-fire drills in six zones that virtually encircle Taiwan’s biggest island, which is roughly 100 miles off the coast of China, about an hour earlier. The drills, which are scheduled to go till Sunday, were disclosed just after Pelosi landed in Taiwan late on Tuesday night.
According to state-run media in China, the drills produced the desired outcomes.
Pelosi and her delegation of House Democrats left Taiwan on Wednesday evening for South Korea, the next stop on an Asian tour that already included Singapore, Malaysia, and Japan.
The highest-ranking American official to visit Taiwan in 25 years was Pelosi, a lifelong opponent of China’s Communist Party-run government. Beijing saw her visit as an intrusion on its sovereignty since it views the self-governing democracy of 24 million people as its territory.
According to Reuters, citing Chinese state broadcaster CCTV, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi branded the speakers’ visit as frantic, reckless, and extremely irrational on Thursday.
Wang stated that China was adopting the essential and timely defensive countermeasures to safeguard its sovereignty and security while speaking at an ASEAN gathering in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
The foreign affairs ministry of Taiwan criticized what it referred to as China’s provocative moves.
According to a statement released on Thursday by the Taiwanese government’s spokesperson Joanne Ou, the practice of prohibiting ships from entering particular sea lanes and airspace will negatively impact international shipping as well as economic and trade exchanges. Taiwan’s government also vowed to vehemently defend its territorial integrity and national sovereignty.
Taiwan’s defense ministry reaffirmed its commitment to preventing a rise in hostilities across the Taiwan Strait.
According to the ministry said on Twitter on Thursday, using an acronym for China’s official name, the People’s Republic of China, Taiwanese forces are conducting their routine operations and keeping an eye on their surroundings in response to irrational PRC actions that aim to alter the status quo and compromise regional security. When it comes to maintaining our security and sovereignty, we do not want escalation but neither do we retreat.
Before Pelosi arrived on the island, China had already increased its military activities in the area of Taiwan. It launched 27 warplanes into Taiwan’s self-declared air-defense identification zone on Wednesday while she was there, which is larger than the island’s recognized airspace.
According to mapping provided by the ministry, two of the formations deviated from the standard flight path by crossing the middle line in the Taiwan Strait. Although China undertakes nearly daily military sorties of this nature, the frequency is typically low.
The Taiwanese military fired warning flares at an unidentified aircraft over Kinmen, a Taiwanese island located about 6 miles off the coast of China, on Wednesday night after Pelosi had left. According to the military ministry, it seemed to be an unmanned drone on Thursday.
The ministry urged people to maintain their composure and emphasized that the action followed routine operating protocols.
According to local media, officials in Taipei, the capital of Taiwan, urged citizens to download an app identifying the more than 5,000 air raid shelters in the city just before the live-fire drills on Thursday started. Taiwan, which just held its annual military exercises, often conducts air raid drills.
While Chinese President Xi Jinping views Taiwan’s reunification with the mainland as a historic necessity, recent polls indicate that the majority of Taiwanese prefer to keep things as they are and have no desire to join China.
In the days preceding Pelosi’s travel, China cautioned the U.S. against the trip on numerous occasions, threatening severe repercussions. According to the White House, the speaker’s travel was in line with American policy toward Taiwan and shouldn’t be used to start a conflict.
The Taiwan Strait tensions have drawn alarm from the international community; according to ASEAN saying, the situation could result in errors of judgment, significant conflict, open hostilities, and unanticipated consequences among major nations.
China’s response might destabilize the area, according to foreign ministers from the Group of Seven countries, including the United States.
They stated in an statement on Wednesday that there is no justification for using a visit as cover for provocative military activities in the Taiwan Strait.
The meeting between Wang and the foreign minister of Japan, a G-7 nation, which was planned to take place in Cambodia on the sidelines of the ASEAN gathering, was canceled after the Chinese Foreign Ministry protested to the statement.
Speaking at a routine news briefing on Thursday, Hua Chunying, a spokesperson for the foreign ministry, said China is justified in the actions it has taken in response to Pelosis’ visit.
According to her, the rightful defense of China came second after the US’s intentional provocation.