Taiwan: China started military exercises, “multiple” ballistic missiles were fired

China’s armed forces on Thursday fired “several” ballistic missiles into the waters surrounding Taiwan during their major maneuvers, the Taipei Defense Ministry said, condemning the “irrational actions that undermine regional peace”. . “The Ministry of National Defense said the Chinese Communist Party fired several Dongfeng ballistic missiles into the surrounding waters northeast and southwest of Taiwan starting at about 1:56 pm (05:56 am),” the statement.

Taiwan’s military has not confirmed the exact location where the missiles landed or whether they flew over the island. The People’s Liberation Army of the Republic of China also confirmed the missile launches: “A multi-regional, multi-pattern conventional missile firepower attack in predetermined waters in the eastern part of the island of Taiwan”. “All the missiles hit the target accurately, testing the accuracy of the strikes,” added Colonel Shi.

On Thursday afternoon, Japanese Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi said that “five of the nine ballistic missiles fired by China are suspected to have landed in Japan’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ).” Located between territorial waters and international waters, it is an area where a State has exclusive resources. On Wednesday, Japan said it was “concerned about the targeted military actions” promised by Beijing and the area where they would take place. “The maritime area announced by China for military exercises to be held from August 4 at noon includes Japan’s EEZ,” Japanese government spokesman Hirokazu Matsuno said.

The maneuvers were launched in six areas around Taiwan

Beijing warned: so the Chinese army began the most important military maneuvers in its history around Taiwan, a muscular response to the visit of the speaker of the American House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi to the island, Tuesday . If her trip to this territory claimed by China is less than 24 hours, Ms. Pelosi has sparked anger in Beijing by becoming the highest-ranking elected American official to visit Taipei in 25 years.

He hammered that the United States will not abandon the island, which is ruled by a democratic regime and lives under the constant threat of invasion by the Chinese army.

In response, Beijing launched from noon on Thursday (4 am GMT) a series of military maneuvers in six areas around Taiwan, at the level of busy trade routes. “The exercises have started” and will continue until noon on Sunday, Chinese state television CCTV said in a social media post. “At this time, the ships and aircraft concerned should not enter the water and airspace concerned”.

In Pingtan, a Chinese island located near one of the places where the maneuvers took place, military helicopters flew towards the Taiwan Strait, AFP reporters said. The Taiwanese army has indicated that it is “preparing for war without seeking war”. “The Ministry of National Defense emphasizes that it will adhere to the principle of preparing for war without seeking war,” the Taiwanese Ministry of Defense said in a statement.

Taiwan’s Defense Ministry said its military fired flares overnight from Wednesday to Thursday to intercept a drone flying over Kinmen Island, which is just 10 km from the city of Xiamen, China. He did not specify what kind of drone it was or where it came from.

For Beijing, these exercises – as well as others, more limited, started in recent days – are a “necessary and legitimate step” after the visit of Ms. Pelosi. “The United States is the provocateurs, and China is the victim. China is in self-defense,” Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told reporters.

“Bad calculations” and “open conflict”

European Union Foreign Minister Josep Borrell on Thursday condemned China’s “aggressive” military maneuvers, saying there was “no justification” for using the chief’s visit to Taiwan “as a excuse.” US Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi. “It is normal for MPs from our countries to travel internationally,” he wrote on Twitter from Phnom Penh, on the sidelines of a meeting of ASEAN foreign ministers.

The latter, “concerned” by the large-scale military maneuvers announced by Beijing, believes that the situation in Taiwan could lead to “open conflicts”. “ASEAN is concerned about international and regional instability, especially recent developments in the neighboring ASEAN region, which may lead to miscalculations, serious confrontations, open conflicts, and unpredictable consequences for the great powers,” they wrote in a joint statement.

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