World · August 6, 2022

Taiwan accuses China of faking an invasion as missile launches spark outrage

Taiwan accused the Chinese military of faking an attack on its main island on Saturday, while Beijing doubled down on its retaliation for US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taipei after announcing the suspension of cooperation with Washington on key issues. .
Relations between the two superpowers have collapsed in the wake of Pelosi’s journey to self-government Taiwan – which China claims as its territory – which has requested the United Nations to urgently ease tensions.

And on Friday the environment became the latest victim of the geopolitical joust, as Beiing said he would withdraw from a series of talks and cooperation agreements with Washington, particularly on climate change and defense cooperation.

The world’s two biggest polluters had pledged to work together to accelerate climate action over this decade and have vowed to meet regularly to address the crisis, a deal that now seems shaky.
On Saturday, Beijing continued some of its largest ever military exercises around Taiwan, exercises aimed at practicing a blockade and the ultimate invasion of the autonomous island, analysts say.

Taipei said it observed “more” Chinese planes and ships operating in the Taiwan Strait, believing they were faking an attack on the main island of self-governing democracy.

“Multiple batches of Communist planes and ships conducting business around the Taiwan Strait, some of which have crossed the midline,” his defense ministry said in a statement, referring to a dividing line running along the Strait of Taiwan. Taiwan that Beijing does not recognize.
Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong warned that China’s decision to launch high-powered missiles into the waters around Taiwan’s coast is “a serious matter for the region”, calling for “escalation limitation and reduction”.

Beijing has started several days of military exercises after Ms. Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan this week.

Widespread indignation

The Chinese government has yet to formally confirm whether the missiles flew over the islands during the exercises, while Taipei has refused to confirm or deny the flight paths, citing intelligence concerns.
But the Japanese Ministry of Defense said that of the nine missiles detected, four “are believed to have flown over the main island of Taiwan”.

“Our exercises this time included live shooting tests and it was their first time crossing the island of Taiwan,” Meng Xiangqing, a professor at the Chinese Army-affiliated National Defense University, told state broadcaster CCTV, praising the accuracy of Beijing’s capabilities.

He added that they have passed through airspace where Patriot missiles – a highly mobile surface-to-air missile system that would be a crucial defense against Chinese warplanes – are densely deployed.
The latest drills also represented the PLA drills closest to the island, its first encirclement and the first time it has set up a shooting range east of Taiwan, Professor Meng said.
The official Chinese news agency Xinhua reported that the military “piloted more than 100 fighter and bomber warplanes” during the exercises, as well as “over 10 destroyers and frigates”.

The latest drills are expected to continue until noon on Sunday and have sparked outrage from Australia, the United States, Japan and the European Union, as well as Taipei.

“Australia is deeply concerned”: Penny Wong

“Australia is deeply concerned about China’s launching of ballistic missiles into the waters around Taiwan’s coast,” Ms. Wong said in a statement on Friday.
“These exercises are disproportionate and destabilizing.”
Ms. Wong’s statement also identified Australia’s close strategic partner, Japan, while warning of the risk of accidental conflicts in the region due to “miscalculations.”

“This is a serious issue for the region, even for our close strategic partner, Japan,” he said.

Penny Wong in a sling, on foot

Penny Wong attends the meeting of ASEAN foreign ministers in Cambodia. sources: EPA / KITH SEREY / EPO

“Australia shares the region’s concerns about this growing military activity, particularly the risks of miscalculations. We urge moderation and reduction of escalation.”

Interim Prime Minister and Defense Minister Richard Marles said the launch of Chinese missiles near Taiwan was a violation of UN rules that require countries to ensure peace and security in international waters.
“The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea is a fully understood treaty and an accepted part of the architecture of the rules-based global order,” he said.
“How it applies to the Taiwan Strait is also clear. And it applies to the Taiwan Strait. “
White House spokesman John Kirby called it an overreaction by China and a “pretext” to increase military activity around the Taiwan Strait.
China defends the exercises as just countermeasures in the face of provocations by the United States and its allies in Taiwan.

A joint statement condemning China’s actions was also released by Japanese, US and Australian foreign ministers after meeting Friday at the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit in Phnom Penh.

The statement states that the three leaders have shared interests and values ​​including “a commitment to freedom, the rule of law, human rights, sovereignty and territorial integrity, the peaceful resolution of disputes without resorting to threat or ‘use of force, and the freedom of navigation and overflight “.
Ms. Wong said she had expressed Australia’s concerns to the Chinese Foreign Minister, Wang Yi, along with other foreign ministers from the region while attending the ASEAN summit.
Officials from the Department of Foreign Affairs also reiterated Australia’s concerns about the Chinese government, he said.
China has become a growing diplomatic concern for Australia, following trade tensions and bans on Australian products, and the recent .

Ms Wong has made strengthening Australia’s influence in the Pacific one of her top priorities since Labor’s election victory in May.