Taiwan accuses China of simulating an attack on the island

Taiwan on Saturday accused the Chinese military of simulating an attack on the island and criticized the “irresponsible behavior of an authoritarian regime,” as China pursued its retaliatory response after the visit of three-times American Nancy Pelosi to Taipei.

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Relations between the United States and China deteriorated after the visit of Ms. Pelosi, the speaker of the House of Representatives, which was considered a “provocation” by Beijing, after the United States pledged not to establish formal relations with the island’s territory claimed by China. .

In response, the Chinese military is conducting its largest-ever maneuvers around Taiwan. They are scheduled to continue until Sunday noon and present as exercises for the “siege” of the island.

Taiwan authorities have identified, as of Saturday 5:00 pm (09:00 GMT), “20 communist planes and 14 boats are conducting joint air-naval maneuvers around Taiwan,” according to the Defense Ministry.

He added that at least 14 of them crossed the midfield, forcing Taipei to speed up with patrol planes to repel the fighters.

The exercise was “considered a mock attack on the main island of Taiwan,” the ministry said.

The center line, drawn unilaterally by the United States during the Cold War, lies in the middle of the Taiwan Strait that separates the island from mainland China, and was never recognized by Beijing.

“total disproportion”

US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said in Manila on Saturday that the United States was “determined to act responsibly” to avert a crisis after China’s response was “totally disproportionate,” he said.

China announced Friday a “suspension” of judicial and anti-drug cooperation with the United States, as well as bilateral dialogue on climate change – among other areas.

Both countries are the world’s largest emitters of greenhouse gases in absolute terms.

Blinken said China should not “take hostage” discussions on issues such as climate change, as this “does not punish the United States, but the entire world.”

On Saturday, the Chinese army published a photo that was taken according to it from one of its military ships in the immediate vicinity of the coast of Taiwan, and where we see a Taiwan Navy building only hundreds of meters away.

This shot may be the closest ever taken by Chinese forces from the mainland to the Taiwanese coast.

The Chinese military also released a video of one of the fighter pilots showing the coast of Taiwan and its mountains from the cockpit in full flight.

A call to democracies

The exercises are a warning sent to Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen of the Independence Party, and to the United States, which Beijing accuses of “betraying” their word by strengthening their ties with Taiwan authorities in recent years.

China also announced new “real fire” exercises from Saturday until August 15 in a small sea area very close to the Chinese port of Lianyungang (to the east), on the edge of the Yellow Sea that separates China and the Korean Peninsula.

According to Chinese state television CCTV, missiles flew over Taiwan this week during exercises across the island – which will be the first.

The Mainland Affairs Council, the body that manages Taipei’s relations with mainland China, denounced Beijing’s “unfortunate brutal actions” on Saturday.

“We call on all our democratic partners around the world to continue to support Taiwan and confront the irresponsible behavior of an authoritarian regime that is undermining peace with its military adventures,” he said.

Taiwan’s foreign ministry on Saturday called on Beijing to “immediately stop raising tension and carrying out provocative actions aimed at intimidating the Taiwan people.”

After criticism from the G7 and the United States, Anthony Blinken and his Japanese and Australian counterparts issued a joint statement calling on China to halt its military exercises.

“bad pass”

Beijing’s decision to suspend the climate dialogue with Washington also raises concern.

“It is impossible to address the climate emergency if the two major economies and the two largest emitters do not act,” said Alden Meyer, an analyst at think tank E3G specializing in climate change.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said it was “impossible to solve the world’s most pressing problems without effective dialogue and cooperation between the two countries,” according to his spokesperson.

Experts also point out that the deterioration in relations between Beijing and Washington could be long-term.

They are “in a very bad situation right now,” said 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, such as those on military-naval cooperation aimed specifically at maintaining escalation.

However, most analysts agree that Beijing does not want an armed confrontation for now.

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