China Expands Military Exercises, Increases Threats Against Taiwan


China has announced additional live-fire exercises in the Bohai and Yellow Seas as Beijing aired its anger over House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) visit to Taiwan with military exercises near the island.

China’s defense ministry did not announce the scope of the expanded drills, and the visit comes as U.S.-China relations sour. The drills show Beijing’s greatest leverage around Taiwan since the last cross-border crisis in 1995 to 1996 — a so-called warning to “provocateurs” challenging Beijing’s claims over Taiwan, home to 23 million people.

On August 7, in response to a recent visit by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), both Democratic and Republican lawmakers decried China’s recent military expansion. (Video: The Washington Post)

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, and an additional four zones in the Bohai Sea where unspecified Chinese military operations will be held for a month starting Monday. .

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.

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Diplomatic collapse Pelosi’s visit escalated sharply on Friday as Beijing imposed sanctions on her and her immediate family, canceled military talks, and halted climate talks and other bilateral cooperation on issues including transnational crime.

The White House last week 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”.

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Bi-khim Hsiao, Taiwan’s Chargé d’Affaires to the United States, told CBS News China’s behavior is unprecedented, not Pelosi’s visit. Beijing appears to have been preparing such a response for a long time, he said.

“The Beijing government is currently trying to create a crisis for a practice that has been going on for decades,” Hsiao said in an interview broadcast on Sunday. He added that it was up to China to “evolve with international respect or international condemnation”.

Hsiao pushed back against the idea that Pelosi’s visit was a “provocation.”

“I think the word ‘provocation’ has only one place, and that’s in China right now,” Hsiao said. “They are what fuel regional instability.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) vowed on Aug. 5 that China would not succeed in isolating Taiwan, amid continued military exercises in the Taiwan Strait. (Video: Reuters, Photo: AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko/Reuters)

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 in areas around Taiwan, focusing on long-range strikes against targets in the air.

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 also reported drones and unidentified objects flying over the Taiwanese-ruled islands of Kinmen and Matsu, off 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.

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The White House summoned the Chinese ambassador as the crisis escalated

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 exercises would demonstrate China’s ability to “completely undermine the so-called neutral line” and deter foreign interference. Conflict by blocking the Bashi Channel, an important 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.

Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan ushers in a new phase of China’s pressure campaign

China accuses the United States of emptying its “one China” policy, which does not challenge or support Beijing’s claims to the island, with moves to improve 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 and will not provoke.”

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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 the southwest coast of Taiwan’s main island, flocked to the shore to see if they could see the missiles landing in nearby waters, local media reported.

In a polarized Congress, Pelosi’s trip received rare bipartisan support. During interviews with half a dozen politicians that aired Sunday, Pelosi — like any member of Congress — said she was within her rights to visit Taiwan and that she opposed any use of force by China in retaliation.

Strengthening economic, cultural and security cooperation with Taiwan is even more important, said Rep. Gregory W. Meeks (DN.Y.), who was part of a congressional delegation led by Pelosi last week on CBS’s “Face the Nation.” The face of China’s aggression.

“We’re going to stand up for our friends, our partners and our allies. And clearly Taiwan is one of them,” Meeks said. “So it’s provocative. [country] We are not. It is the Beijing government.

Pei Lin Wu contributed to this report.

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