The Chinese Army’s Eastern Theater Command said Sunday around noon local time that it has conducted live-fire exercises in waters and airspace around Taiwan “as planned.”
“The exercises focused on joint ground strikes and long-range air strikes capabilities,” the command said in a statement posted on its official account on the social media platform Weibo, without specifying whether the exercises had ended.
The Defense Ministry added that Taiwan’s military was “closely monitoring the situation” and deploying aircraft and ships to respond “appropriately” to Chinese military exercises around the island. It also said the drones had “stormed” the remote islands controlled by Taiwan.
The ministry did not immediately provide an exact number of Chinese planes, ships or drones that were spotted on Sunday morning or say whether they crossed the sensitive center line in the Taiwan Strait that separates the island from the Chinese mainland.
China announced the exercises – whose scale represents a significant escalation from previous activities – within an hour of Pelosi and a congressional delegation arriving in Taiwan on Tuesday night. The stop, which was expected but not previously announced, was part of a larger Asian tour.
On Saturday, 14 ships and 20 aircraft operated by the Chinese military were detected around the strait, Taiwan’s Defense Ministry said. It added that of the 20 planes, 14 crossed the midline.
On Friday, the ministry said 68 Chinese warplanes were reported in the Taiwan Strait. Of these, 49 of those entered the Taiwan Air Defense Identification Zone – a buffer zone of airspace commonly referred to as an Air Defense Identification Zone. This was just a few aircraft short of the record set last year when 56 Chinese warplanes entered the ADIZ area on the same day.
Taiwan Prime Minister Su Tseng-chang on Sunday reiterated Taiwan’s condemnation of the exercises.
“Not only Taiwan, but also other countries in the region as well as freedom-loving countries like the United States and so on, have strongly protested and condemned China’s arrogant military actions that disrupt regional peace and stability,” he said during a press interview.
“We call on the Chinese government not to display its military might and disrupt regional peace,” he added.
A US National Security Council spokesman on Saturday described China’s recent military activities around Taiwan as a “major escalation in China’s efforts to change the status quo.”
“It is provocative and irresponsible and increases the risk of miscalculation,” the spokesman said. They are also at odds with our long-term goal of maintaining peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait, which is what the world expects.
US allies have also come forward to condemn China’s actions, including in a joint statement released Friday by US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong, and Japanese Foreign Minister Hayashi Yoshimasa following their meeting on the sidelines of the ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting. meeting in Cambodia.
The diplomats condemned “(China’s) launch of ballistic missiles,” including those the Japanese government said fell in its exclusive economic zone, “to stir up tension and destabilize the region,” and called on China to “immediately stop military exercises,” official sources said. . On the statement issued by the US State Department.
China hit back on Saturday night, with its embassy in Australia calling the United States “the biggest spoiler and destabilizer of peace in the Taiwan Strait” and questioning the “legal basis” of Japan’s claims about the missile landings.
“China is the victim of political provocation from the United States. The measures taken by the Chinese government to protect state sovereignty and territorial integrity and curb separatist activities are legitimate and justified,” a statement from the embassy said.
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