World · August 5, 2022

China has “chosen to overreact” to Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan, states US

The US said on Thursday that China’s launch of 11 ballistic missiles around Taiwan was an overreaction to US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan.
“China has chosen to overreact and use the speaker’s visit as a pretext to increase provocative military activity in and around the Taiwan Strait,” White House spokesman John Kirby said.

On Thursday, China deployed dozens of planes and launched live missiles near Taiwan in its largest drills in the Taiwan Strait, the day after Ms. Pelosi made a solidarity trip to the self-governing island.

The Chinese military has confirmed multiple launches of conventional missiles in the waters off Taiwan as part of planned exercises in six zones that will last until noon on Sunday.
It has activated more than 100 aircraft, including fighters and bombers, and more than 10 warships, state broadcaster CCTV said.
Taiwan’s Ministry of Defense said it launched jets to warn 22 Chinese fighter jets that crossed the Taiwan Strait midline in its air defense zone and said troops fired rockets at the end of Thursday to drive off four drones flying over the area of ​​its Kinmen Islands off China’s southeastern coast.

He said the missiles launched by China have flown high into the atmosphere and pose no threat to it, responding to public concern that they have passed over the main island of Taiwan.

“US-Taiwan collusion and provocation will only push Taiwan into the abyss of disaster, bringing catastrophe to Taiwan compatriots,” a spokesman for the Chinese Defense Ministry said.
Responding to the Chinese exercises, President Tsai Ing-wen said Taiwan will not cause conflict but will firmly defend its sovereignty and national security.
“Taiwan will never be beaten down by challenges,” Tsai said in a recorded video message to the people of Taiwan.

To prevent further escalation of tensions with Beijing, the United States has postponed a routine test launch of an Air Force Minuteman III ICBM, the Wall Street Journal reported Thursday, citing US officials. An official said the delay could last 10 days, the report said.

Nancy Pelosi arrives in Japan

Ms. Pelosi arrived in Japan on Thursday for the final leg of her Asian tour, disembarking from her plane at Yokota Air Base in Tokyo before greeting the US ambassador and other officials with hugs and handshakes.
The 82-year-old policy challenged a series of severe threats from China to meet Taiwanese leaders on Wednesday, saying his trip made “unequivocally clear” that the United States would not abandon a democratic ally.

It is Ms. Pelosi’s first trip to Japan since 2015 and she came from South Korea, where her schedule included a visit to the nuclear-armed border with North Korea.

On Friday he will meet Prime Minister Fumio Kishida for breakfast, the Japanese foreign ministry said, to discuss the two countries’ alliance and issues of common concern.
Japan, a key US ally, filed a diplomatic protest with China over its massive military exercises surrounding Taiwan. Shortly before Ms. Pelosi’s arrival, Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi said five ballistic missiles launched by China are believed to have landed in Japan’s exclusive economic zone.
Parts of Japan’s southernmost island region, Okinawa, are close to Taiwan, as are islets at the center of a long dispute between Tokyo and Beijing.
US President Joe Biden also warned Beijing during a visit to Japan in May when he said US forces would militarily defend Taiwan if China attempted to take control of the island by force, prompting Beijing to warn. that the United States was “playing with fire”.

Mr. Biden and his team insisted at the time that their ten-year approach to Taiwan was still in place.

This includes arming the democratic island for its own defense, recognizing China’s legal sovereignty and expressing “strategic ambiguity” as to whether American troops would ever intervene if China invaded the territory.

ASEAN ministers warn that tensions between Taiwan and China could cause open conflict

Southeast Asian foreign ministers on Thursday urged restraint as China launched massive military exercises off Taiwan, warning that the situation risked escalating into “open conflicts.”
Ministers of the 10 members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) gathered in Phnom Penh have warned against “provocative actions”.
The situation “could lead to miscalculations, serious confrontations, open conflicts and unpredictable consequences between major powers,” ministers said in a joint statement released Thursday.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi will participate in the talks alongside his US counterpart Antony Blinken, although they are not expected to hold a one-on-one meeting.

In a meeting with ASEAN ministers, Blinken said that in recent days the United States has contacted China “at all levels of government” to ask for calm and stability.
“I sincerely hope that Beijing does not create a crisis or seek a pretext to increase its aggressive military activity,” said Blinken.
“We and countries around the world believe that escalation is of no use to anyone and could have unintended consequences that serve no one’s interests, including ASEAN members and including China.”
But Mr. Wang, speaking on the sidelines of the ASEAN summit on Thursday, said the US “flagrant provocation” set an “excellent precedent”.
“If it is not corrected and opposed, will the principle of non-interference in internal affairs still exist? Will international law still be respected? How to safeguard regional peace?” he said, according to the Chinese state media Xinhua.

EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell, also in Phnom Penh, condemned the Chinese response.

“There is no justification for using a visit as a pretext for aggressive military activity in the Taiwan Strait. It is normal and routine for lawmakers in our countries to travel internationally,” he tweeted.
Kung Phoak, Cambodian Deputy Foreign Minister and ASEAN spokesman, urged both sides to stabilize the situation.
“We hope that there will be a reduction in escalation … and that normalcy will return to the Taiwan Strait,” he told reporters.
Ms. Pelosi, the highest-ranking US visitor to Taiwan in 25 years, praised its democracy and promised American solidarity during her short layover. Chinese anger couldn’t stop world leaders from traveling there, she said.

“Our delegation has come to Taiwan to make it clear that we will not abandon Taiwan,” Pelosi told Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen, whom Beijing suspects is pushing for formal independence – a red line for China.