Taiwan detects Chinese aircraft and ships in possible “attack simulation”

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Taiwan detected “several” Chinese aircraft and naval vessels participating in military exercises around the Taiwan Strait on Saturday, in what could be a possible simulated attack against the island.

The island’s Defense Ministry said some of China’s aircraft and ships had crossed the sensitive midline of the Taiwan Strait that separates the island from the Chinese mainland.

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“Our military has broadcast alerts, dispatched combat air patrol and naval vessels, and activated land-based missile systems in response to the situation,” the ministry said.

The statement did not specify exactly how many Chinese aircraft and vessels were detected. The Chinese military has yet to issue a statement on the purpose of the latest exercises.

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Saturday’s activity follows a series of military exercises China has been conducting in the region since Thursday, following US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s controversial visit to Taiwan earlier in the week.

The Chinese Communist Party views the island as part of its territory and has long vowed to “reunify” Taiwan with the Chinese mainland – by force if necessary.

Pelosi ignored furious opposition to her visit as she landed in Taipei on Tuesday as part of an Asia tour that ended Friday with a final stop in Japan.

But the full ramifications of his visit are only now emerging, with China ramping up military exercises in the skies and waters around Taiwan and halting cooperation with the US on a number of issues.

On Friday, 68 Chinese warplanes were reported in the Taiwan Strait, according to the Defense Ministry. Of those, 49 entered the island’s air defense identification zone. The number was slightly below the record set last year, when 56 Chinese warplanes entered ADIZ on the same day.

On Thursday, China launched 11 ballistic missiles – some of which flew over the island of Taiwan and landed in Japan’s Exclusive Economic Zone, prompting Tokyo to file a formal complaint with Beijing. This was the first time that China fired projectiles over the island.

The exercises are scheduled to last until Sunday, according to Chinese state media.

diplomatic consequences

The deteriorating situation in the Taiwan Strait has caused a diplomatic storm, with China attacking countries that have criticized its exercises and some regional powers calling for a de-escalation.

Tensions rose at the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) foreign ministers’ meeting in Cambodia this week, where members were expected to discuss three main topics: the Myanmar crisis, the South China Sea and the war in Ukraine. .

But Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan added “a fourth issue … that led to heated discussions about cross-strait relations,” Cambodian Foreign Minister Prak Sokhonn told a news conference on Saturday.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken attended the Asean meeting on Thursday, Wang criticized Pelosi’s visit for demonstrating the “bankruptcy” of US policy and credibility. , calling it “manic, irresponsible and highly irrational behavior”.

A day later, Blinken said that China “chose to exaggerate and use Pelosi’s visit as a pretext to increase provocative military activity in and around the Taiwan Strait.”

Japan and other G7 economies have urged China to halt its military exercises and maintain the status quo in the region.

Beijing did not heed these calls. Instead, it responded by canceling future phone calls between Chinese and American defense leaders and annual naval meetings between the two countries.

On Friday, China’s Foreign Ministry announced a series of measures against the US, including sanctions against Pelosi and her family.

China has also suspended bilateral climate talks and shelved cooperation on issues such as the repatriation of illegal immigrants and the investigation of transnational crimes and drug operations.

Source: CNN Brasil

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