China Keeps Up Pressure on Taiwan 08/07 09:59
China said Sunday it carried out its fourth consecutive day of military
drills in the air and sea around Taiwan in the wake of U.S. House Speaker Nancy
Pelosi's visit to the self-ruled island, despite international calls to calm
BEIJING (AP) -- China said Sunday it carried out its fourth consecutive day
of military drills in the air and sea around Taiwan in the wake of U.S. House
Speaker Nancy Pelosi's visit to the self-ruled island, despite international
calls to calm the tensions.
The People's Liberation Army said the exercises focused on testing its
long-range air and ground strikes. It did not say if it will continue the
drills after Sunday.
Taiwan said that it continued to detect several batches of Chinese aircraft,
ships and drones operating around the Taiwan Strait, which separates the island
and mainland China, and "simulating attacks on the island of Taiwan and our
ships at sea."
Taiwan's official Central News Agency meanwhile reported that Taiwan's army
will conduct live-fire artillery drills in southern Pingtung County on Tuesday
and Thursday, in response to the Chinese exercises.
The drills will include snipers, combat vehicles, armored vehicles as well
as attack helicopters, said the report, which cited an anonymous source.
China set up no-go areas around Taiwan for the four-day drills it announced
immediately after Pelosi's trip to Taipei on Tuesday and Wednesday that
infuriated Beijing, which saw it as a violation of the "one-China" policy.
China claims Taiwan and has threatened to annex it by force if necessary. The
two sides split in 1949 after a civil war, but Beijing considers visits to
Taiwan by foreign officials as recognizing its sovereignty.
Taiwan's Ministry of National Defense emphasized that its military was
surveilling the situation and had dispatched aircraft and ships to respond
Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen has called on the international community to
"support democratic Taiwan" and "halt any escalation of the regional security
China has so far conducted missiles strikes on targets in the seas around
Taiwan, and sent warships across the Taiwan Straits median line. It has also
cut off defense and climate talks with the U.S. and imposed sanctions on Pelosi
in retaliation for her visit.
The Biden administration and Pelosi say the U.S. remains committed to the
"one-China" policy that recognizes Beijing as the legitimate government but
allows informal relations and defense ties with Taipei.
The U.S. however criticized Beijing's actions in the Taiwan Strait, with
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre calling them "fundamentally
"There's no need and no reason for this escalation," Jean-Pierre said.
Singapore's coordinating minister for national security Teo Chee Hean said
in a Facebook post Saturday that the U.S.-China tensions over Taiwan is "an
issue that can lead to conflict and war to the detriment of all parties
involved, especially the people in Taiwan."
The tensions have a negative impact on Southeast Asia, Teo said, adding: "We
hope that wisdom will prevail."