BEIJING (AP) — China said on Monday it was expanding threatening military exercises around Taiwan that disrupt shipping and air traffic and raise serious concerns about a potential conflict in a region critical to global trade ‘s concerns.
practise Anti-submarine drills will be included, according to social media posts by the eastern leadership of China’s ruling Communist army, the People’s Liberation Army, in an apparent targeting of U.S. support for Taiwan in the event of a possible Chinese invasion of the island.
The military said the drills, which involved missile strikes, warplanes and the movement of ships across the centerline of the Taiwan Strait, were a response to U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Visited Autonomous Island last week.
China has ignored calls to de-escalate tensions and has given no immediate indication of when it will end what amounts to a lockdown.
Taiwan’s Defense Ministry said on Sunday that a total of 66 aircraft and 14 warships had been spotted conducting sea-air exercises. The island responded by putting its military on alert and deploying ships, aircraft and other assets to monitor Chinese aircraft, ships and drones that were “simulating attacks on the island of Taiwan and our vessel”.
Meanwhile, Taiwan’s official Central News Agency reported that Taiwan’s military will conduct live-fire artillery drills in southern Pingtung County on Tuesday and Thursday in response to China’s drills.
The report quoted an unnamed source as saying that the exercise will include snipers, combat vehicles, armored vehicles and attack helicopters.
China claims Taiwan as its own territory and threatens to annex it by force if necessary. The two countries split in 1949 after a civil war, but Beijing sees visits by foreign officials as a recognition of its sovereignty.
Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen called on the international community to “support democratic Taiwan” and “stop any escalation of the regional security situation”. The Group of Seven also criticized China’s behavior, prompting Beijing to cancel a meeting between Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Japanese Foreign Minister Yoshisuke Hayashi.
China has interrupted defense and climate talks with the United States and imposed sanctions on Pelosi in retaliation for her visit.
The Biden administration and Pelosi said the U.S. remains committed to a “one China” policy that expands formal diplomatic recognition to Beijing while allowing for strong informal and defense ties with Taipei.
However, the United States has criticized Beijing’s actions in the Taiwan Strait, which White House press secretary Karin Jean-Pierre called “simply irresponsible”.
“This upgrade is neither necessary nor justified,” Jean-Pierre said.
In Washington, Taiwan’s de facto ambassador, Xiao Biqin, said there was no reason for China to be “so angry” about Pelosi’s visit, a long tradition of American lawmakers visiting Taiwan.
“Well, you know, we’ve been living under threat from China for decades,” Xiao told CBS News on Sunday. “If you have a kid who is being bullied at school, you don’t say you don’t go to school. You try to find ways to deal with the bully.
“The risk is posed by Beijing,” Xiao said.
During a visit to Myanmar, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said that Washington “is taking this opportunity to strengthen its military deployment in the region, which deserves high vigilance and resolute resistance to all sides.”
The official Xinhua news agency quoted Wang Yi as saying that “China’s firm position” was aimed at “effectively maintaining peace across the Taiwan Strait and regional stability.”
Meanwhile, Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong Call for de-escalation. “Australia continues to urge restraint, Australia continues to urge de-escalation, this is not something Australia is calling for, the whole region is watching the current situation, the whole region is calling for a return to stability,” Huang told reporters in Canberra.