BEIJING – Taiwan said on Saturday that China’s military exercises appeared to simulate an attack on the self-ruled island after scores of Chinese warships and aircraft crossed the middle line of the Taiwan Strait.
Taiwan’s armed forces have issued an alert, sent air and naval patrols around the island and activated ground-based missile systems in response to the situation, Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense said on Twitter.
China launched live-fire military drills following US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan earlier this week, saying her visit violated the “one China” policy. China views the island as a breakaway province to be annexed by force if necessary, and views visits to Taiwan by foreign officials as recognition of its sovereignty.
Separately on Saturday, Taiwan’s military detected four unmanned aerial vehicles flying near the offshore county of Kinmen, Taiwan’s Central News Agency reported.
The four drones, which Taiwan believed to be Chinese, were spotted over waters around the Kinmen group of islands and nearby Liu Island and Beiding Island, according to Taiwan’s Kinmen Defense Command.
In response, the Taiwanese military fired warning missiles.
“Our government and military are closely monitoring China’s military exercises and information warfare operations, ready to respond if necessary,” Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen said in a tweet.
“I call on the international community to support a democratic Taiwan and stop any escalation of the security situation in the region,” she added.
Kinmen, also known as Quemoy, is a group of islands administered by Taiwan. The islands are located about 10 kilometers (6.2 mi) east of the Chinese coastal city of Xiamen in Fujian Province.
Chinese military exercises began on Thursday and are expected to continue until Sunday. So far, the exercises have included missile strikes on targets in the seas north and south of the island in echoes of China’s last major military exercises in 1995 and 1996, aimed at intimidating Taiwan’s leaders and voters.
Taiwan has put its military on alert and held civil defense exercises, while the US has numerous naval assets in the area.
The Biden and Pelosi administrations have said the U.S. remains committed to a “one China” policy that recognizes Beijing as China’s government but allows for informal relations and defense ties with Taipei. The administration discouraged but did not prevent Pelosi from visiting.
China also cut off defense talks with the US and imposed sanctions on Pelosi in retaliation for the visit.
Pelosi is a longtime advocate for human rights in China. She, along with other lawmakers, visited Beijing’s Tiananmen Square in 1991 to support democracy two years after a bloody military crackdown on protesters in the square.
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Taiwan claims that Chinese military exercises appear to simulate an attack
Source link Taiwan claims that Chinese military exercises appear to simulate an attack