China’s Maritime Security Administration on Saturday announced five exclusion zones in the Yellow Sea, where drills will take place from August 5 to 15, as well as an additional four zones in the Bohai Sea where unspecified Chinese military operations will be held for a month from August. 8.
Although China has officially called for “peaceful reunification” with Taiwan — which has never been ruled by the Chinese Communist Party — it is also Constantly threatening Seizing the island by force if the government in Taipei declares formal independence.
Diplomatic collapse Attendance sharply increased on Friday, when Beijing imposed sanctions on Pelosi and her immediate family, canceled military talks and halted other bilateral cooperation on issues including climate talks and transnational crime.
White House Summoned Chinese Ambassador Qin Gang on “irresponsible” military actions, including firing missiles into the waters around Taiwan. Foreign Secretary Anthony Blinken called the exercises a “severe, disproportionate and extreme military response”.
But China shows no sign of slowing down its military exercises. The People’s Liberation Army’s (PLA) Eastern Theater Command said on Sunday it would continue joint air and naval exercises as planned, focusing on long-range strikes against aerial targets in areas around Taiwan.
After a large number of Chinese warplanes flew close to Taiwan’s airspace on Friday, 14 jets crossed the central line of the Taiwan Strait as 14 Chinese warships operated nearby on Saturday. Three years ago, crossing the informal border dividing the waterway was unheard of.
Taiwan’s defense ministry described the Chinese drills on Saturday morning as a “simulated attack on Taiwan’s main island”.
Taiwan has reported drones and unidentified objects flying over Kinmen and Matsu, the two Taiwanese-ruled islands closest to the coast of China’s Fujian province. The Kinmen Defense Command fired warning flares at three drones that flew above its restricted waters on Saturday.
Meng Xiangqing, a professor at the PLA-affiliated National Defense University, told state broadcaster China Central Television in an interview published on Sunday that the drills demonstrate China’s ability to “completely break the so-called neutral line” and prevent foreign interference. A conflict over blocking and controlling the Bashi Canal, a vital waterway between the Western Pacific Ocean and the South China Sea.
Chinese live-fire drills on all sides of Taiwan that began Thursday simulated a possible blockade of the island, military analysts said, but Taiwan’s government said disruption to shipping lanes and flights had so far been minimal.
Pelosi concluded her congressional delegation’s Asia tour on Friday by vowing that China would not succeed in isolating Taiwan.
The Chinese Communist Party has pursued a global position for decades pressure campaign Diplomatically isolating Taiwan’s democratically elected government by hounding its diplomatic partners and strongly opposing exchanges between Taipei and foreign officials.
China accuses the US of hollowing out its “one China” policy by not challenging or recognizing Beijing’s claims to the island, with moves to strengthen its unofficial relationship with Taiwan, including the first visit by the House speaker in 25 years. White House policy remains unchanged.
Despite unprecedented military pressure, the Taiwanese public has largely remained calm in the face of escalating Chinese threats. President Tsai Ing-wen said Thursday, “We are calm and will not act hastily. We are rational people and will not provoke,” he said.
Annual exercises Taiwan’s military conduct a week before Pelosi’s visit has not been reversed despite increasingly angry warnings from Beijing. As the drills began, tourists visiting Xiaoliuqiu, a small island off Taiwan’s southwest coast, flocked to the shore to see if they could see Chinese missiles landing in the nearby waters, local media reported.
Taiwan’s stock market recovered from a brief mid-week slump by Friday.
Pei Lin Wu in Taipei contributed to this report.
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