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Japanese leaders on Friday called on China to halt military exercises near Taiwan, a day after five Chinese missiles fired during the drills landed in waters that Japan claims are for exclusive economic use.

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida called for an “immediate cessation” of the drills, which he said had “serious impacts on regional and world peace and stability,” Kyodo news agency reported. He spoke to reporters after a meeting with Speaker Nancy Pelosi, whose high-profile visit to Taiwan this week angered China and led to military exercises.

Ms Pelosi said China “may try to prevent Taiwan from visiting or participating elsewhere, but they will not isolate Taiwan.”

At least 11 Chinese missiles landed in waters north, south and east of Taiwan on Thursday, the first day of the drills scheduled to end on Sunday. The People’s Liberation Army said they “all hit their targets accurately”. Japan said five of the ships had fallen into its exclusive economic zone outside its territorial waters.

The drill appeared to continue Friday morning. Taiwan’s Defense Ministry said Chinese ships and planes had crossed the unofficial median line in the Taiwan Strait that separates the island from mainland China.

The Defense Ministry said it had dispatched its own aircraft and ships and deploy land-based missile systems to monitor the situation.

China claims Taiwan is its own territory, an autonomous democracy on its southern coast, and sees the visit of an American politician as an insult. Pelosi met with Taiwan’s president, lawmakers and human rights activists on Wednesday, praising Taiwan’s commitment to democracy.

In addition to expressing Beijing’s displeasure with her visit, the drills – planned for six areas around Taiwan – appear to be designed as a trial run to block Taiwan as part of a potential invasion. Chinese leaders, including current leader Xi Jinping, have long said Taiwan must ultimately be brought under Beijing’s control, with the use of force if necessary.

The exercises put the United States in a delicate position. While the Pentagon wants to protect power in the region, it is also sensitive to the risk that a military miscalculation near the islands could trigger an unintended escalation.

National security spokesman John Kirby said Thursday that the Pentagon had ordered the USS Ronald Reagan to “stop” in the area, but some distance from the entrance to the Taiwan Strait. This represents a more cautious move than was taken during the Taiwan crisis in 1996, when President Bill Clinton moved the aircraft carrier closer to the strait.

Kirby added that the U.S. will resume standard air and sea transit through the Taiwan Strait “in the coming weeks,” a sign that the White House wants the Chinese exercises to end first.

On Friday morning, the U.S. Navy’s Seventh Fleet released photo on twitter Fighters on the deck of the USS Ronald Reagan conduct what is called a “flying operation” in the Philippine Sea southeast of Taiwan.

It was unclear on Friday how China’s other drills would proceed.Eastern China theater including Taiwan Said to be mobilizing According to Reuters, more than 100 fighter jets, bombers and other aircraft, as well as more than 10 destroyers and frigates.

Ben Dooley Contribution report.





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