China began military exercises this Thursday in six zones near Taiwan. It is the biggest operation ever on the island claimed by Beijing.
“From 12 noon today to 12 noon on the 7th, the People’s Liberation Army is carrying out an important exercise in military training and real combat”, announced Chinese state television CCTV, during the early hours of the morning in Portugal.
The country’s media, quoted by the international press, reported that Beijing – which sees Taiwan as a breakaway province – has started long-range artillery firing exercises in the island strait, noting that “the expected results have been achieved”, in this, according to the BBC, the biggest operation ever in the territory. According to the British “The Guardian”, the six zones selected by China for carrying out the military exercises surround the island and some of them are very close to important ports.
Taipei authorities have accused the People’s Liberation Army of carrying out a military siege, with the Defense Ministry claiming that the Taiwanese military is “operating as usual”, monitoring the island’s surroundings. “We are not looking for the escalation of the situation, but we are not backing down when it comes to our security and sovereignty,” the ministry said.
A Taiwanese political official, who spoke anonymously to Reuters about today’s military exercises, reported that about ten Chinese naval vessels crossed the territory, before being “pulled away” by local navy boats. “They sneaked in and were kicked out by us,” he said, adding that Taiwan had to activate jets and missile systems to track the movements of Chinese planes, which briefly and several times also advanced. “They flew in and they flew out, time and time again. China continues to harass us and increase pressure on our air defense,” he accused.
Reply to Pelosi’s visit
The Chinese military maneuvers, scheduled until Sunday and considered “aggressive” by the head of European diplomacy, Josep Borrell, follow the visit of the President of the US Congress to Taiwan, understood as an “extremely dangerous attitude” by China, which had warned of serious consequences before Washington intervened and that it announced economic sanctions against Taiwan after Nancy Pelosi arrived in Taipei.
“We will not abandon our commitment to Taiwan. We are proud of our lasting friendship,” the Democratic leader said on Wednesday, accompanied by President Tsai Ing-wen, during an event in which she received the highest civil decoration awarded to foreigners by the Asian island, which he classified as “one of the freest societies in the world”.
Although the White House has claimed that Pelosi’s trip to Taiwan does not change the recognition of the “one China” policy, the Asian giant says he does not go in songs and that the visit is “a pure and simple farce” that threatens the Chinese sovereignty. “Those who offend China must be unavoidably punished,” said the head of Chinese diplomacy, Wang Yi, yesterday.
Source: With Agencies