Taiwan accuses the Chinese military of simulating an attack on its main island

(Taipei) Taiwan on Saturday accused the Chinese military of rigging an attack on the island, with China stepping up its retaliation after the visit of US third seed Nancy Pelosi to Taipei, which suspended the climate dialogue between Beijing and Washington.

Updated at 0:09

Amber WANG with Ludovic EHRET in Beijing
France media agency

MI Pelosi, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, is considered a “provocation” by Beijing, because Washington has vowed not to establish formal relations with the island’s territory claimed by China.

In response, Chinese diplomats announced Friday evening “suspension” of many cooperation with the United States, especially on justice, drug control, but also on climate change.

The two countries, the largest emitters of greenhouse gases in absolute terms, signed a surprise climate agreement at the COP26 summit in Glasgow last year.

On the military front, China on Saturday continued its largest-ever organized maneuvers around Taiwan. It is scheduled to continue until Sunday noon (0400 GMT) and is presented as a training exercise for the “siege” of the island.

Taiwan authorities announced on Saturday that they had spotted “several” Chinese aircraft and ships in the Taiwan Strait between the island and mainland China.

The Taiwan Defense Ministry explained that “some of them are across the median line” that bisects the strait and “are considered to be simulating an attack on the main island of Taiwan.”

It said the Chinese military had announced that it had deployed fighters, bombers, several destroyers and guard boats the day before to participate in the “day and night” maneuvers.

cockpit video

A warning has been sent to the Taiwanese president, of the Independence Party, and to the United States, accusing him of “betraying” their word by strengthening their relations with Taiwanese authorities in recent years.

In the night from Friday to Saturday, the Chinese military released a video of an air force pilot filming from his cockpit, the coast and mountains in Taiwan.

The great photos are supposed to show Beijing’s ability to get close to the island’s coast.

Chinese state television said the missiles flew over Taiwan for the first time during the military exercises. However, neither the Chinese nor the Taiwanese military confirmed this information.

On the Taipei side, the authorities denounced the actions of its “malicious neighbor” and announced that 68 planes and 13 Chinese military ships crossed the “middle line” on Friday.

Drawn unilaterally by the United States during the Cold War, this line was never recognized by Beijing.

The scale of the exercises drew condemnation from the G7 countries, the United States and its allies. The White House summoned the Chinese ambassador, Chen Gang, to criticize behavior deemed “irresponsible.”

Beijing’s decision to suspend the climate dialogue with Washington sparked another wave of criticism.

“It’s clearly concerning,” said Alden Meyer, an analyst at the E3G think tank that specializes in climate change. “It is impossible to address the climate emergency if the two major economies and the two largest emitters do not act, and it is always better if they do so in cooperation.”

“Irresponsible”

A spokesman for the US Executive Director for National Security Affairs, John Kirby, criticized Friday for a “fundamentally irresponsible” decision. “China is not only punishing the United States, it is punishing the whole world,” he added.

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres expressed his dismay. “For him, it is impossible to solve the most pressing problems in the world without effective dialogue and cooperation between the two countries,” his spokesman said.

Experts note that with tensions between China and Taiwan at their highest level in nearly 30 years, and with a perceived risk of military conflict, the deterioration in relations between Beijing and Washington could be permanent.

“The relationship between the United States and China is currently in a very bad state,” says Bonnie Glaser, a China specialist at the US think tank’s German Marshall Fund in Washington.

She noted “particular concern” about the suspension of cooperation agreements critical to the stability of the region, such as military-naval cooperation aimed specifically at maintaining escalation.

to mI Glaser, the United States may have “underestimated” the anger of the Chinese public.

Most analysts agree, however, that despite these military exercises, Beijing does not want an armed confrontation for now.



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