China launches long-range airstrike drills around Taiwan


The Chinese military’s Eastern Theater Command said around noon local time on Sunday that it was “continuing” live-fire drills in the waters and airspace around Taiwan “as planned.”

“The drills focused on joint ground strikes and long-range air strike capabilities,” the command said in a statement posted on its official account on the Weibo social media platform, without specifying whether the drills have ended.

The drills, which were to take place in six areas around the island, began on Thursday and were to last until noon Sunday local time in Beijing, Chinese state media reported.
Taiwan’s Defense Ministry said on Sunday it detected several Chinese planes, ships and drones operating around the Taiwan Strait that morning, in what it called a “simulated attack on the main island of Taiwan and ships of the Taiwan Navy”. of language from Saturday when he said Chinese military exercises around the island could be a “possible mock attack”.

The Taiwanese military “closely monitored” the situation and deployed aircraft and ships to respond “appropriately” to Chinese military exercises around the island, the defense ministry added. He also said drones “have crept” into the outer islands controlled by Taiwan.

The ministry did not immediately provide the exact number of Chinese planes, ships or drones that were detected on Sunday morning or whether they crossed the sensitive center line of the Taiwan Strait that separates the island from the Chinese mainland.

China announced the drills – the scale of which marks a significant escalation from past activities – less than an hour after Pelosi and a congressional delegation arrived in Taiwan on Tuesday night. The stop, which was planned but not announced in advance, was part of a larger tour of Asia.

Chinese officials had repeatedly warned Washington of unspecified repercussions ahead of the planned trip. In addition to the exercises, Beijing has also launched a series of diplomatic sanctions, including the cancellation of future phone calls between Chinese and US defense leaders and the suspension of bilateral climate talks.
The Chinese Communist Party considers self-governing Taiwan its territory, though it has never controlled it, and has long pledged to “reunify” the island with the Chinese mainland – by force if necessary.
Exercises in the previous days had seen a number of air and sea operations around the island, including the launch of 11 ballistic missiles on Thursday, some of which flew over the island of Taiwan and landed in the exclusive economic zone of the Japan. It was the first time that China had sent missiles over the island.

On Saturday, 14 ships and 20 aircraft operated by the Chinese military were detected around the strait, according to Taiwan’s Defense Ministry. Of the 20 planes, 14 crossed the median line, he added.

On Friday, 68 Chinese fighter jets were reported in the Taiwan Strait, according to the ministry. Of these, 49 entered the Taiwan Air Defense Identification Zone – an airspace buffer commonly referred to as ADIZ. That was just a few planes shy of the record set last year when 56 Chinese fighter jets entered the ADIZ on the same day.

Taiwanese Prime Minister Su Tseng-chang on Sunday reiterated Taiwan’s condemnation of the exercises.

“Not only Taiwan, but other countries in the region as well as freedom-loving countries like the United States, etc., have vehemently protested and condemned China’s arrogant military operations that disrupt regional peace and stability. “, he said in an interview with the press.

“We call on the Chinese government not to flex its military muscles and not to disturb regional peace.”

A spokesperson for the United States National Security Council on Saturday called China’s recent military activities around Taiwan a “significant escalation in China’s efforts to change the status quo.”

“They are provocative, irresponsible and increase the risk of miscalculation,” the spokesperson said. “They are also at odds with our long-standing goal of maintaining peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait, which the world has come to expect.”

US allies have also come forward to condemn China’s actions, including in a joint statement released Friday by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong and Japanese Foreign Minister Hayashi Yoshimasa in following their meeting on the sidelines of the ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting. Dating in Cambodia.

The diplomats “condemned (China’s) launch of ballistic missiles”, including those which the Japanese government says landed in its exclusive economic zone, for “increasing tension and destabilizing the region”, and called China “to immediately cease military exercises,” according to the statement released by the US State Department.

China hit back late on Saturday, with its embassy in Australia calling the United States “the greatest saboteur and destabilizer of peace in the Taiwan Strait” and challenging the “legal basis” of Japan’s claims about the missile landings.

“China is a victim of political provocation by the United States. The measures taken by the Chinese government to safeguard state sovereignty and territorial integrity and curb separatist activities are legitimate and justified,” it said. a statement from the embassy.


cnn

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