Last Updated on 2022/08/05
Chinese official media claim the drills are the closest ever to the island, however Taiwan authorities have yet to confirm this.
Update: According to state media, China’s government has declared sanctions on Nancy Pelosi and her direct relatives in response to her “vicious and provocative activities” in traveling to Taiwan.
According to an article posted on CGTN, Pelosi: “insisted on going to Taiwan in disregard of China’s serious concerns and firm opposition, seriously interfering in China’s internal affairs, seriously undermining China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, seriously trampling on the one-China principle, and seriously threatening the peace and stability of the Taiwan Strait. In response to Pelosi’s vicious and provocative actions, China has decided to impose sanctions on Pelosi and her immediate family in accordance with the relevant laws of the People’s Republic of China.”
According to Reuters, a source in Taiwan told them that “about 10 Chinese naval ships crossed the median line and lingered in the region on Friday morning, while approximately 20 Chinese military planes temporarily crossed the median line.”
Meng Xiangqing, a professor at China’s military-affiliated National Defence University, talked to official media CCTV about Beijing’s precision.
“This time, our exercises included live-fire testing, and it was the first time they reached Taiwan Island.”
He also stated that they flew over airspace thickly populated with Patriot missiles, a highly mobile surface-to-air missile system that would provide critical defense against Chinese jets.
According to Meng, the recent drills were also the PLA’s closest-ever exercises to the island, its first encirclement, and the first time it built up a firing range east of Taiwan.
According to China’s official Xinhua news agency, the military “flew more than 100 jets, including fighters and bombers,” as well as “nearly ten warships and frigates” during the drills.
According to Xinhua, the Chinese drills include personnel from the navy, air force, rocket force, strategic support force, and logistic support force.
The median line is an unofficial boundary that runs through the center of the Taiwan Strait, which divides Taiwan and China.
Blinken: China’s actions have “no plausible justification.”
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has cautioned once more that China’s “provocative” activities threaten escalation and destabilization of the area.
Blinken told reporters at a press briefing on the sidelines of the Asean regional forum meeting that the US has consistently reminded China that it does not desire a crisis. Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan, according to Blinken, was peaceful, and “there was no possible justification for what they did” in retaliation.
The secretary of state stated that the US will stand behind its regional partners.
He also stated that the United States would not be provoked by China’s activities and that US military would fly, sail, and operate wherever international law permitted. He declared that the United States would continue to traverse the Taiwan Strait by sea, and that the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan would remain in the vicinity.
Japan’s Prime Minister, Fumio Kishida, has asked for China’s military drills targeted towards the Taiwan Strait to be “immediately canceled.”
Kishida told reporters after meeting with US Representative Nancy Pelosi in Tokyo that “we have requested for the urgent cessation of the military drills,” which he described as a “severe problem that threatens our national security and the safety of our citizens.”
According to Reuters, US Ambassador to Japan Rahm Emanuel, who was with Pelosi earlier, said “It is clear that the US-Japan alliance will stand strong, shoulder-to-shoulder, to defend our interests and our values.”
Taiwan’s defense ministry stated on social media, “We desire no escalation, nor do we antagonize others.”
It says that it responded with alarm broadcasts, planes, navy boats, and land-based missile systems after “several PLA aircraft and vessels were identified engaged in maneuvers surrounding the Taiwan Strait.”
Taiwan’s President delivered a reassuring statement, saying the island’s military is “ready to respond as necessary.”
Tsai Ing-wen made the announcement just after 1pm on her official Twitter page.
China has summoned European diplomats in the country to protest Group of Seven and European Union comments criticizing menacing Chinese military drills around Taiwan.
According to the foreign ministry, Vice Minister Deng Li made “solemn representations” against what he called “wanton involvement in China’s domestic affairs” on Friday.