China expands military exercises, increases threats against Taiwan

China expands military exercises, increases threats against Taiwan

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China announced additional fire drills in the Bohai Sea and the Yellow Sea as Beijing expressed its anger over President Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) visit to Taiwan with military exercises near the island.

The Chinese Defense Ministry did not announce the scope of the expanded exercises, and the visit comes as US-China relations deteriorate. The exercises show Beijing’s greatest strength around Taiwan since the last transnational crisis from 1995 to 1996 – a so-called warning to “provocateurs” who challenge Beijing’s claims about Taiwan, a self-governing democracy of 23 million people.

On August 7, Democratic and Republican lawmakers denounced the recent military expansion of China, in response to the recent visit of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA). (Video: The Washington Post)

China’s Maritime Security Administration on Saturday announced five restricted areas in the Yellow Sea, where the exercises will take place from August 5 to 15, and four more areas in the Bohai Sea, where China’s unspecified month-long military operations will be conducted from Monday. .

While China has officially called for “peaceful reunification” with Taiwan – which has never been ruled by the Chinese Communist Party – it also continues to threaten to seize the island by force if the government in Taipei declares formal independence.

From China politics to Taiwanese relations law, here’s what you need to know:

Pelosi’s visit escalated into a diplomatic meltdown sharply on Friday as Beijing imposed sanctions on her and her immediate family, canceled military talks and halted climate talks and other forms of bilateral cooperation on cross-border crimes.

The White House last week He summoned Chinese Ambassador Qin Gang over “irresponsible” military operations, including missile launches in the waters around Taiwan. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken described the exercises as a “dangerous, disproportionate and extreme military response”.

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Bi Kim Hsiao, Taiwan’s charge d’affaires to the United States, told CBS News that China’s behavior is unprecedented, not Pelosi’s visit. He said it appears that Beijing has long been preparing for such a response.

“The Beijing government is currently trying to create a crisis for a practice that has been going on for decades,” Hsiao said in an interview broadcast on Sunday. He added that it was up to China to “evolve with international respect or international condemnation.”

Hsiao argued against the idea that Pelosi’s visit was a “provocation”.

“I think the word ‘provocation’ only has one place, and that is in China now,” Hsiao said. “They are the fuel for regional destabilization.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) vowed on August 5 that China would not fail to isolate Taiwan amid ongoing military exercises in the Taiwan Strait. (Video: Reuters, Photo: AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko/Reuters)

But China shows no signs of slowing down its military exercises. The Chinese People’s Liberation Army’s Eastern Theater Command said Sunday that it will continue joint air and naval exercises in areas around Taiwan, focusing on long-range strikes on airborne targets.

After a large number of Chinese warplanes flew close to Taiwan’s airspace on Friday, 14 aircraft crossed the central line of the Taiwan Strait while 14 Chinese warships operated nearby on Saturday. Three years ago, crossing the unofficial border separating the waterway was unheard of.

Taiwan’s Defense Ministry described China’s Saturday morning exercises as “a simulation of an attack on the main island of Taiwan.”

Taiwan has also reported unidentified aircraft and objects flying over the Taiwan-ruled Kinmen and Matsu islands, off the coast of China’s Fujian Province. The Kinmen Defense Command fired warning flames on Saturday at three drones flying over its restricted waters.

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The White House summoned the Chinese ambassador as the crisis escalated

Meng Xiangqing, a professor at the National Defense University of the People’s Liberation Army, said in an interview with China Central Television published on Sunday that the exercises are aimed at “totally break the so-called neutral line” and prove that China is capable of deterring foreigners. confusion. Conflict by damming the Bashi Canal, a major waterway between the Western Pacific Ocean and the South China Sea.

Military analysts said China’s live-fire exercises across Taiwan that began on Thursday simulated a potential blockade of the island, but the Taiwan government said disruption to shipping routes and flights has been minimal so far.

Pelosi concluded her delegation’s Asian tour from Congress on Friday, promising China’s failure to isolate Taiwan.

The Chinese Communist Party has held a global position for decades, waging a campaign of diplomatic isolation of Taiwan’s democratically elected government by hunting down its diplomatic partners and vehemently opposing exchanges between Taipei and foreign officials.

Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan heralds a new phase of China’s pressure campaign

China accuses the United States of stripping the “one China” policy, which does not question or recognize Beijing’s claims to the island, of measures to improve informal relations with Taiwan, including the spokesperson’s first visit to the island in 25 years. White House policy has not changed.

Despite unprecedented military pressure, the Taiwanese people have remained largely calm despite escalating Chinese threats. “We are calm and will not rush. We are rational and will not provoke,” President Tsai Ing-wen said Thursday.

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The annual military exercise campaign in Taiwan a week before Pelosi’s visit has not been undone, despite Beijing’s increasingly angry warnings. When the exercises began, tourists visiting Xiaoliuqiu, a small island off the southwest coast of Taiwan’s main island, flocked to the coast to see if they could watch the missiles landing in the nearby waters, local media reported.

In a polarizing convention, Pelosi’s trip received rare bipartisan support. During interviews with half a dozen politicians broadcast on Sunday, Pelosi said – as did every member of Congress – that she has the right to visit Taiwan and that she opposes any use of force by China in retaliation.

Rep. Gregory Meeks (DN.Y.), who was part of a Pelosi-led congressional delegation on CBS’ “Face the Nation” last week, said strengthening economic, cultural and security cooperation with Taiwan is even more important. Facing Chinese aggression.

We will stand up for our friends, partners and allies. “Obviously Taiwan is one of them,” Meeks said. “So it’s provocative. [country] We do not. It is the Beijing government.

Bi Lin Wu contributed to this report.

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