Taiwan accuses China of ‘simulating’ invasion as drills continue

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Taiwan says several ships and planes were found on Saturday after Beijing withdrew cooperation with the US in areas including climate and military cooperation.

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Taiwan has accused the Chinese military of mimicking an attack on its main island, as Beijing continued massive military exercises in response to US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taipei.

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Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense said in a statement that the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) sent “multiple” warships and aircraft to the Strait of Taiwan on Saturday.

The ministry said it also opened fire on Friday night to warn of seven drones flying over the Kinmen Islands off China’s east coast and unidentified planes flying over its outlying Matsu island. Was put

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“Several PLA craft were detected around the Taiwan Strait, some have crossed the midline,” the ministry said on Twitter, referring to a demarcation line that runs below the Taiwan Strait and which Beijing does not recognize. Is.

“Possible fake attack,” it added.

China’s state media from earlier this week called for the drills to be a rehearsal of a battle plan, and said the military moved close enough to confirm sightings of the island’s coastline and mountain ranges on Friday .

“Today, my comrade-in-arms and I were ordered to conduct a near-detention mission in which we saw the coastline and the Central Mountain Range of the island of Taiwan within visual range,” said Hou Hong, a pilot of PLA Eastern A brigade attached to the Theater Command Air Force told the official Global Times.

Beijing claims self-governing Taiwan as its own and has not ruled out using force to take control of the island.

The United States, while maintaining formal diplomatic relations with Beijing, has long followed a policy of “strategic ambiguity” on Taiwan and is obliged by law to provide Taipei with the means to defend itself.

Relations between Beijing and Washington were already strained – over trade issues, mostly Muslim Uighurs and the treatment of Hong Kongers – but the situation has worsened with the visit of Pelosi, the highest-profile US official to visit Taiwan. Huh. decade.

cooperation withdrawn

China fired ballistic missiles at Taiwan after Pelosi left, in an unprecedented exercise in six locations around the island, due to end at noon (04:00 GMT) on Sunday. It has said it will end cooperation with the US in eight specific areas, including climate change, cross-border crime prevention and military issues.

Christopher Tomei, a security scholar at the US Naval Postgraduate School in California, told Reuters news agency he believed this was the start of a new Taiwan crisis and that the breakdown of communications links was worrying.

Speaking in a private capacity, Tomé said, “This increasing density of forces in the context of an acute crisis raises the possibility of an unintentional escalation that neither side wants.”

“That’s when you want more opportunities to talk to the other side… Losing those channels greatly diminishes the ability of the military forces on both sides to reduce conflict as various exercises and operations continue.” live.”

As China continues to demonstrate its military prowess around Taiwan, at least four American ships, including the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan, the amphibious assault ship USS Tripoli and the guided missile cruiser USS Antietam, are east of Taiwan, Reuters Said it was confirmed.

The United Nations and others have called for immediate de-escalation.

On Saturday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken was in the Philippines, where new President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. faced a difficult challenge balancing Manila’s ties with the two major powers.

Blinken assured Manalo that Washington was determined to avoid a crisis in the Taiwan Strait, and assured Marcos Jr. that the US was committed to the two countries’ mutual defense treaty.

Taiwan also dominated discussions as foreign ministers of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and counterparts from countries including the US, China, Russia and Japan met in Phnom Penh this week.

“There is no justification for this extreme, disproportionate and aggressive military response,” Blinken told a news conference on the sidelines of those meetings.

“Now, they have taken dangerous acts to a whole new level.”

Speaking later, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi accused Blinken of “telling the truth”.

“We want to issue a warning to the United States: Don’t act in haste, don’t create a bigger crisis than this,” Wang said.

Taiwan has been self-governing since 1949 when Mao Zedong’s Communists took power in Beijing at the end of the Chinese Civil War, and defeated Nationalists under Chiang Kai-shek established the government in Taipei.

The last major crisis in the Taiwan Strait was in 1996 as the island prepared for its first democratic presidential election.



Credit: www.aljazeera.com /

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