Taiwan says it is monitoring the situation after several Chinese ships and aircraft crossed the median line in the Taiwan Strait on Friday.
China has resumed its largest-ever military drills in the waters around the self-governing island of Taiwan, with the homeland’s defense ministry saying scores of warships and fighter jets crossed the center line of the Taiwan Strait. Taiwan.
The exercises, which Thursday included the firing of ballistic missiles and the deployment of fighter jets, follow the visit of United States House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to the Democratic Island, which Beijing claims as its own.
Taiwan’s Defense Ministry said several Chinese “warships and warplanes” conducted drills in the Taiwan Strait at 11 a.m. (0300 GMT) on Friday, crossing the midline of the waterway that separates China and Taiwan.
The ministry said China’s military activities were “highly provocative” and it was closely monitoring the “enemy situation”.
Thursday’s drills involved a “conventional missile firepower assaultin waters east of Taiwan, the Chinese military said.
Beijing’s official Xinhua news agency reported that the Chinese military “flew more than 100 fighter jets, including fighters and bombers” during the exercises, as well as “more than 10 destroyers and frigates”. .
State broadcaster CCTV and the Communist Party tabloid Global Times reported that Chinese missiles had flown over the island, with the Global Times saying the drills had “completely locked down” the island.
Taiwan said the Chinese military fired 11 Dongfeng-class ballistic missiles “in multiple batches”.
He said the missiles were high in the atmosphere and posed no threat, but did not give details of their flight paths, citing intelligence concerns.
The US said live-fire drills were an overreaction to Pelosi’s visit,
Taiwanese Prime Minister Su Tseng-chang accused China of destroying the world’s most frequently used waterway during military exercises, calling the country an “evil neighbour” when reporters asked about the missile launches on Friday .
Asian airlines, including Singapore Airlines and Korean Air, diverted or canceled flights Friday due to China’s continued military activity.
Japan launched a diplomatic protest after announcing that five of the nine missiles fired at its territory had landed in its exclusive economic zone (EEZ), while China summoned the Japanese ambassador for Japan’s participation in a statement by the G7 condemning military exercises.
China later canceled plans to meet with Japanese officials on the sidelines of a meeting of Southeast Asian foreign ministers in Cambodia, and while senior diplomat Wang Yi greeted Russian Foreign Minister foreigners Sergei Lavrov with a tap on the shoulder, he seemed to ignore his Japanese counterpart Yoshimasa Hayashi. . US Secretary of State Antony Blinken is also taking part in the talks in Phnom Penh.
Al Jazeera’s Florence Looi, who is in the Cambodian capital, described the atmosphere of the meeting as “tense” and that the situation around Taiwan had overshadowed discussions which were to focus on the worsening crisis in Myanmar.
Pelosi, who is in Japan for the final leg of her tour of the region, spoke with Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on Friday and spoke about the diplomatic storm surrounding her visit at a press conference.
“We said from the outset that our representation here was not intended to change the status quo in Taiwan or the region,” she said, stressing that Beijing could not isolate Taiwan by preventing Western officials from getting involved. get there.
“The Chinese government is not happy that our friendship with Taiwan is strong,” she added.
“It’s bipartisan in the House and Senate, overwhelming support for peace and the status quo in Taiwan.”
Taiwan has been self-governing since 1949, when Mao Zedong’s Communists seized power in Beijing after defeating Chiang Kai-shek. Kuomintang into the Civil War, prompting the Nationalist government to settle on the island.
The United States maintains formal diplomatic relations with Beijing, but follows a policy of “strategic ambiguity” with regard to Taiwan. It is required by law to provide the island with the means to defend itself.
Beijing has not ruled out the use of force to take control of Taiwan.