In retribution for a visit to Taiwan by U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, which also saw Beijing cease engagement with the United States in various areas, Chinese planes and warships reportedly practised for an assault on Taiwan on Saturday, according to authorities on the island.
Pelosi’s unexpected and short visit during the week to the island that is self-governed and that is also claimed by China angered the Chinese government, which has responded with extraordinary military manoeuvres, including the firing of ballistic missiles over Taipei, the capital city.
On Sunday at noon, the Chinese drills are expected to continue for the remainder of their allotted time.
Taiwan’s defence ministry reported on Saturday morning that multiple Chinese ships and planes had conducted missions in the Taiwan Strait, with some crossing the median line, an unofficial buffer separating the two sides. Taiwan’s military believes that these movements were part of a simulation attack on the main island of Taiwan.
The army of Taiwan issued a warning announcement and immediately placed ships, air reconnaissance patrol troops, and shore-based missiles on standby after broadcasting the alert.
Additionally, according to Taiwan’s Ministry of Defense, flares were shot late on Friday to scare away seven drones that were flying over Taiwan’s Kinmen islands as well as an unidentified aircraft that was flying over Taiwan’s Matsu islands. Both island groupings are found in close proximity to the southeastern coast of the Chinese mainland.
Despite Chinese warnings, Pelosi landed in Taiwan late on Tuesday. This was the highest-level visit to the island by a United States official in decades, and it has prompted a flurry of reaction, including penalties against Pelosi herself.
Shortly after her delegation left Japan on Friday, the final stop of a week-long tour of Asia, China announced that it was halting dialogue with the United States in a number of areas. These areas include dialogue between theater-level military commanders as well as dialogue on climate change. China’s announcement came shortly after her delegation left Japan.
The Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that it will also be stopping talks on the subject of fighting transnational crime and drug trafficking. The United States criticised the reaction, describing it as reckless.
China’s People’s Liberation Army’s Eastern Theater Command said on Friday that it has conducted air and sea manoeuvres to the north, southwest, and east of Taiwan in order to test its forces’ “combined combat capabilities.” The operations took place in the vicinity of Taiwan.
Antony Blinken, the Secretary of State of the United States, said that Washington has made it very plain to Beijing on many occasions that it did not desire a crisis over Pelosi’s travel to Taiwan.
During a press conference that took place on the margins of regional discussions taking place in Cambodia, he said that “there is no basis for this severe, disproportionate, and escalatory military reaction.”
They’ve reached a whole new level of recklessness with their recent actions.
Blinken emphasised that the United States would not take any action that might precipitate a crisis; rather, the United States would back its friends and continue to undertake routine air and marine transit via the Taiwan Strait.
According to what he stated, “we will fly, sail, and operate anywhere international law permits.”
According to a U.S. official who spoke on the condition of anonymity, Chinese officials did not respond to calls made by senior Pentagon officials this week. However, this was interpreted as a display of displeasure over Pelosi’s trip rather than a severed channel between senior defence officials including the U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, according to the official.
At a press conference on Friday, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said, “I heard that United States Secretary of State Blinken made his news conference and propagated some falsehoods and was not speaking accurately.”
Wang warned the United States, “Do not act hastily, do not create a wider problem.” “We aim to convey a caution to the United States,” he added.
This sentiment was shared by Jing Quan, a senior official at the Chinese Embassy in Washington. He said, during a briefing, that “the only way out of this problem is that the U.S. side must take efforts swiftly to remedy its errors and erase the terrible effect of Pelosi’s visit.”