China: last day of vast military maneuvers around Taiwan

Number three in the United States, Ms Pelosi has sparked fury in China with her visit, the largest by an American elected official in 25 years.

China: last day of vast military maneuvers around Taiwan

Number three in the United States, Ms Pelosi has sparked fury in China with her visit, the largest by an American elected official in 25 years. Beijing responded by suspending a series of bilateral discussions and cooperation, including on climate change and defence.

China's military has also launched the biggest military exercises in its history, sending fighter jets, warships and ballistic missiles into what analysts say is a mock blockade and invasion of Taiwan.

These vast maneuvers must end Sunday at midday, even if Beijing has announced that new "live fire" exercises will be carried out until August 15 in the Yellow Sea which separates China from the Korean peninsula.

The Taiwanese authorities have identified, until Saturday 5:00 p.m. (09:00 GMT), "20 communist planes and 14 boats carrying out joint air-sea exercises around Taiwan", according to the Ministry of Defense.

At least 14 of them crossed the median line, he added, forcing Taipei to rush patrol planes to repel them.

- "Attack simulation" -

The ministry said the drills were "considered a mock attack on the main island of Taiwan."

Drawn unilaterally by the United States during the Cold War, the median line, in the middle of the Taiwan Strait which separates the island from mainland China, has never been recognized by Beijing.

To prove how close it had come to the Taiwanese coast, the Chinese army on Saturday published a photo it said it took from one of its military ships, showing a Taiwanese navy building just a few hundred meters away. .

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

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

According to Chinese state television CCTV, missiles flew over Taiwan this week during exercises around the island - which would be a first.

Taipei has consistently condemned the maneuvers in recent days, lambasting its "malicious neighbor" and calling on Beijing on Saturday to "immediately stop raising tension and carrying out provocative actions aimed at intimidating the Taiwanese people".

- Warning -

Several experts explained to AFP that these exercises served as a warning: now the Chinese army seems able to carry out a total blockade of the island while preventing American forces from coming to its aid.

"In some areas its capabilities may even exceed those of the United States," notes Grant Newsham, a former US Navy officer and researcher at the Japan Forum for Strategic Studies.

"If a (future) battle is confined to an area directly around Taiwan, then the Chinese navy will be a strong opponent. And if... the Americans and the Japanese do not intervene, things will be very difficult for Taiwan."

The scale of the maneuvers and Beijing's decision to withdraw from crucial bilateral climate and defense dialogues have triggered a shower of condemnation from the United States and its allies.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Saturday in Manila that the United States was "determined to act responsibly" to avoid a crisis after the "total disproportion" according to him of the Chinese reaction.

China should not "hostage" talks on issues such as climate change because it "doesn't punish the United States, but the whole world", he added.

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres warned that "it is impossible to solve the world's most pressing problems without effective dialogue and cooperation between the two countries", according to his spokesman.

Yorum yapabilmek için üye girişi yapmanız gerekmektedir.

Üye değilseniz hemen üye olun veya giriş yapın.

NEXT NEWS