China-Taiwan latest news: Pelosi says Asia trip was never about ‘changing status quo’ as Beijing holds military drills

Missiles fired from Chinese coast amid Taiwan tensions

Nancy Pelosi, who arrived in Japan last evening for the final leg of her Asia tour, said the trip to the region was “not about changing the status quo in Taiwan”.

Her diplomatic support to Taipei infuriated China, prompting it to hold live-fire military drills in the waters off Taiwan.

China’s state broadcaster said the military exercises that are set to end on Sunday, would be the largest conducted by China in the Taiwan Strait. The exercises have involved live fire on the waters and in the airspace around the island.

Five missiles landed in Japan’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ), prompting Tokyo to lodge a strong protest through diplomatic channels.

Speaking after the meeting Ms Pelosi, Japanese prime minister Fumio Kishida said China’s military exercises aimed at Taiwan represent a “grave problem” that threatens regional peace and security and the missile launches need to be “stopped immediately”.

The US House speaker, who previous asserted American commitment to democracy in Taiwan and elsewhere as “ironclad,” said China will not isolate Taipei by preventing American officials from travelling there.


US calls China reaction to Pelosi’s visit ‘flagrantly provocative’

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken told an Asian meeting of top diplomats today that China’s reaction to US House speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan was “flagrantly provocative”, a western official said.

Mr Blinken, speaking at the East Asia Summit in Cambodia, said China had sought to intimidate not only Taiwan, but neighbours too, after it launched the largest-ever military drills in the Taiwan Strait, the official said.

US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken looks on at the East Asia Summit foreign ministers meeting during the 55th Asean foreign ministers’ meeting in Phnom Penh on 5 August 2022

(AFP via Getty Images)


‘We’re all one family’: Taiwan residents go about regular business amid escalated tension with China

Amid the escalated tension over China’s military activity surrounding Taiwan, the mood in the island state was calm.In Keelung, a city on the northern coast of Taiwan and close to two of the announced drill areas, swimmers took their morning laps in a natural pool built in the ocean.

Lu Chuan-hsiong, 63, was enjoying his morning swim, saying he wasn’t worried. “Because Taiwanese and Chinese, we’re all one family. There’s a lot of mainlanders here, too,” he said.

“Everyone should want money, not bullets,” he quipped, saying the economy wasn’t doing so well.

Tourists visit a scenic area on Pingtan island, one of mainland China’s closest point from Taiwan, in Fujian province on 5 August 2022

(AFP via Getty Images)

Those who have to work on the ocean were more concerned. Fishermen are likely to be the most affected by the drills, which cover six different areas surrounding Taiwan, part of which come into the island’s territorial waters.

Most fishermen will continue to try to fish, as it is the season for squid.“It’s very close. This will definitely impact us, but if they want to do this, what can we do? We can just avoid that area,” said Chou Ting-tai, who owns a fishing vessel.


China’s joint military operations focused on ‘blockade, sea target assault, strike on ground targets’

China’s official Xinhua news agency reported the military exercises were joint operations focused on “blockade, sea target assault, strike on ground targets, and airspace control.”

Ma Chen-kun, a professor at Taiwan’s National Defense University, said the drills were aimed at showing off the Chinese military’s ability to deploy precision weapons to cut off Taiwan’s links with the outside and facilitate the landing of troops.

The announced drills are “more complete” than previous exercises, he said.

“If the People’s Liberation Army actually invades Taiwan in an all-out invasion, the concrete actions it will take, it’s all in this particular exercise,” Mr Ma said.

“The main thing is they will cut off Taiwan’s links to the outside world, from their sea, they would suppress the coastal defence firepower,” he said.


China’s ‘irrational behavior’ intends to alter status quo, says Taiwan’s defence military

China’s “irrational behavior” intends to alter the status quo and disrupt regional peace and stability, said Taiwan’s defence ministry.

It added that their forces are on alert and monitoring the situation, while seeking to avoid escalating tensions. Civil defense drills were held last week and notices were placed on designated air raid shelters months ago.

“The three service branches will combine efforts with all the people to jointly safeguard national security and territorial integrity” while adapting to the situation as it develops, the statement said.

Three French-made Mirage 2000 fighter jets taxi on a runway in front of a hangar at the Hsinchu Air Base in Hsinchu on 5 August 2022

(AFP via Getty Images)

The ministry said it tracked the firing of Chinese Dongfeng series missiles beginning around 1.56pm yesterday. It said in a statement it used various early warning surveillance systems to track the missile launches. It later said it counted 11 Dongfeng missiles in the waters in the north, east and south.

The ministry also said it tracked long-distance rockets and ammunition firing in outlying islands in Matsu, Wuqiu and Dongyin.


Taiwanese president criticises China’s military drill: ‘Violated our sovereignty’

Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen criticized the drills in a public video address, saying China “destroyed the status quo and violated our sovereignty” with its “irresponsible actions.”

She urged China to be “reasonable and restrained.”

Speaker of the US House Of Representatives Nancy Pelosi speaks alongside Taiwan’s president Tsai Ing-wen, right, at the president’s office on 3 August 2022 in Taipei, Taiwan

(Getty Images)

We are calm and not impulsive, we are reasonable and not provocative. But we will also be firm and not back down.

Tsai Ing-wen

The president said Taiwan is in communication with its allies to ensure that things do not escalate further.


US National Security Council spokesperson condemn military activity surrounding Taiwan

US National Security Council spokesman John Kirby condemned the launches and military activity surrounding Taiwan.

“China has chosen to overreact and use the speaker’s visit as a pretext to increase provocative military activity in and around the Taiwan Strait,” he said yesterday.

John Kirby, National Security Council Coordinator for Strategic Communications, speaks during the daily press briefing in the Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House in Washington, DC, 4 August 2022

(AFP via Getty Images)

We will not be deterred from operating in the seas and the skies of the Western Pacific consistent with international law, as we have for decades supporting Taiwan and defending a free and open Indo-Pacific.

John Kirby


China conducts ‘precision missile strikes’ in Taiwan Strait

China conducted “precision missile strikes” yesterday in waters off Taiwan’s coasts as part of military exercises that have raised tensions in the region to their highest level in decades following a visit by US House speaker Nancy Pelosi.

China earlier announced that military exercises by its navy, air force and other departments were underway in six zones surrounding Taiwan, which Beijing claims as its own territory to be annexed by force if necessary.

The drills are intended to advertise China’s threat to attack the self-governing island republic. Along with its moves to isolate Taiwan diplomatically, China has long threatened military retaliation over moves by the island to solidify its de facto independence with the support of key allies including the US.

A French-made Mirage 2000 fighter jet takes off at the Hsinchu Air Base in Hsinchu on 5 August 2022

(AFP via Getty Images)

China fired long-range explosive projectiles, the Eastern Theater Command of the People’s Liberation Army, the ruling Communist Party’s military wing, said in a statement. It also said it carried out multiple conventional missile launches in three different areas in the eastern waters off Taiwan.

An accompanying graphic on state broadcaster CCTV showed those that occurred in the north, east, and south.“All missiles hit the target accurately,” the Eastern Theater said in its announcement. No further details were given.


Kishida: China’s military exercise aimed at Taiwan ‘grave proble’ threatening regional peace

Japanese prime minister Fumio Kishida said Friday that China’s military exercises aimed at Taiwan represent a “grave problem” that threatens regional peace and security after five ballistic missiles launched as part of the drills landed in Japan’s exclusive economic zone.

Mr Kishida, speaking after breakfast with US House speaker Nancy Pelosi and her congressional delegation, said the missile launches need to be “stopped immediately.”

Japanese prime minister Fumio Kishida speaks to the media after a meeting with US House speaker Nancy Pelosi at the prime minister’s official residence in Tokyo on 5 August 2022

(AFP via Getty Images)

China, which claims Taiwan and has threatened to annex it by force if necessary, called Ms Pelosi’s visit earlier this week to the self-ruled island a provocation and on Thursday began military exercises, including missile strike training, in six zones surrounding Taiwan, in what could be its biggest since the mid-1990s.

Japanese defence minister Nobuo Kishi said five missiles landed on Thursday in Japan’s exclusive economic zone off Hateruma, an island far south of Japan’s main islands. He said Japan protested to China, saying the missiles “threatened Japan’s national security and the lives of the Japanese people, which we strongly condemn.”


China will not isolate Taiwan by preventing US officials from travelling there, says Pelosi

US House speaker Nancy Pelosi said today that China will not isolate Taiwan by preventing US officials from travelling there.

She made the remarks in Tokyo, the final leg of an Asia tour highlighted by a visit to Taiwan that infuriated China.

Ms Pelosi, the first House speaker to visit Taiwan in 25 years, said Wednesday in Taipei that the US commitment to democracy in the self-governing island and elsewhere “remains ironclad”.

US House speaker Nancy Pelosi shakes hands with Japanese prime minister Fumio Kishida during a meeting at the prime minister’s official residence in Tokyo on 5 August 2022


The House speaker and five other members of Congress arrived in Tokyo late Thursday after visiting Singapore, Malaysia, Taiwan and South Korea.


Chinese ambassador issues chilling warning to Taiwan

A senior Chinese diplomat has issued a chilling warning to Taiwan not to assert its independence anymore, lest it have China “re-educate” the breakaway territory.

Read the full story, only from Independent Premium.

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