China extends threatening military exercises around Taiwan

BEIJING (AP) — China said Monday it is expanding dangerous military exercises around Taiwan that have disrupted shipping and air traffic and raised concerns about the potential for conflict in a region vital to global trade.

Exercise According to a social media post by the eastern leadership of the People’s Liberation Army, the military wing of China’s ruling Communist Party, the anti-submarine drills will include targeting US support for Taiwan in the event of a possible Chinese invasion.

The military said the exercise, which included missile strikes, warplanes and ship movements across the center line of the Taiwan Strait, was a response to US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s reaction. Visited the self-governing island last week.

China has ignored calls to ease tensions and there was no immediate indication when the blockade would end.

On Monday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said China would “defend China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, prevent the US from involving China on the Taiwan issue, and definitely dispel the illusion of the Taiwanese authorities to “rely on the US for independence”.

Taiwan’s defense ministry said on Sunday it had detected a total of 66 aircraft and 14 warships carrying out naval and air exercises. The island has responded by alerting its military and deploying ships, planes and other assets to monitor Chinese planes, ships and drones “attacking Taiwan Island and our ships at sea”.

Meanwhile, Taiwan’s official Central News Agency reported that Taiwan’s military will hold live-fire artillery drills in southern Pingtung County on Tuesday and Thursday in response to China’s exercise.

The drills will include snipers, combat vehicles, armored vehicles as well as attack helicopters, the report said citing an unnamed source.

China claims Taiwan as its own territory and has threatened to annex it by force if necessary. The two sides split after a civil war in 1949, but visits by Beijing foreign officials to Taiwan are seen as acknowledging its sovereignty.

Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen has called on the international community to “support a democratic Taiwan” and “stop any escalation of the regional security situation”. The Group of Seven industrialized nations have also criticized China’s actions, prompting Beijing to cancel a meeting between Foreign Minister Wang Yi and his Japanese counterpart, Yoshimasa Hayashi.

China has cut off defense and climate talks with the US and imposed sanctions in retaliation for Pelosi’s visit.

The Biden administration and Pelosi say the U.S. is committed to a “one-China” policy that grants formal diplomatic recognition to Beijing and allows for stronger informal ties and defense ties with Taipei.

However, the US criticized Beijing’s actions in the Taiwan Strait, with White House press secretary Karin Jean-Pierre calling them “fundamentally irresponsible”.

“There is no need and no reason for this increase,” Jean-Pierre said.

In Washington, Taiwan’s de facto ambassador Bi-Khim Hsiao said there was no reason for China to be “so angry” about Pelosi’s visit, which is a long tradition for American lawmakers to visit Taiwan.

“Well, you know, we’ve been living under the threat of China for decades,” Hsiao told CBS News on Sunday. “If your child is being bullied at school, you don’t say you don’t go to school. You try to find a way to deal with the bully.

“Beijing has created a risk,” Hsiao said.

During a visit to Myanmar, whose China-backed military government has been accused of killing opponents, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said Washington was “taking the opportunity to increase its military deployment in the region, which deserves high vigilance and a decisive boycott.” from all sides.”

“China’s firm stance” is aimed at “sincerely safeguarding peace and regional stability across the Taiwan Strait,” Wang was quoted as saying by the official Xinhua News Agency.

Meanwhile, Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong Called to reduce tension. “Australia is urging restraint, Australia continues to call for peace, and this is not something that Australia is calling for, and the whole region is concerned about the current situation, the whole region is calling for stability to be restored,” Wong said. Journalist in Canberra.

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