Taiwan says China’s military drills appear to simulate an attack

BEIJING (AP) — Taiwan said Saturday that China’s military drills appeared to simulate an attack on the self-ruled island after several Chinese warships and aircraft crossed the median line in the Taiwan Strait following a visit to Taipei by U.S. Speaker Nancy Pelosi. This angered Beijing.

Taiwan’s armed forces sounded the alarm, sent air and naval patrols around the island and activated land-based missile systems in response to the Chinese drills, the Ministry of National Defense said. As of 5 p.m., 20 Chinese aircraft and 14 ships continued naval and air exercises around the Taiwan Strait.

The ministry said the zones declared by China as restricted areas have “severely damaged peace” during exercises for other ships and aircraft. It stressed that Taiwan’s military was not seeking war, but would prepare and respond accordingly.

China’s defense ministry said in a statement on Saturday that it had conducted planned military drills in the sea and airspace to the north, southwest and east of Taiwan, focusing on “testing the capabilities” of its land attack and sea attack. systems.

China begins live-fire military drills Following Pelosi’s trip to Taiwan earlier this week, it said it violated the “one-China” policy. China considers the island a breakaway province that could be annexed by force if necessary, and considers foreign authorities to recognize its sovereignty over Taiwan.

Taiwan’s military said it detected four unmanned aerial vehicles flying near Kinmen offshore county on Friday night and fired warning flares in response.

According to Taiwan’s Kinmen Defense Command, four drones, believed to be Taiwanese Chinese, were spotted in the waters around the Kinmen island group and nearby Liu Island and Beiting Island.

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Kinmen, also known as Qumoi, is a group of islands 10 kilometers (6.2 mi) east of the Chinese coastal city of Xiamen in Fujian Province in the Taiwan Strait, which split between the two sides in the midst of a civil war in 1949.

“Our government and military are closely monitoring China’s military exercises and information warfare activities and are ready to respond as necessary,” Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen said on Twitter.

“I call on the international community to support democratic Taiwan and stop any escalation of the regional security situation,” he added.

The Chinese military drills are expected to start on Thursday and continue until Sunday. So far, the drills have included missile strikes on targets in seas north and south of the island, echoing the last major Chinese military drills in 1995 and 1996 aimed at intimidating Taiwan’s leaders and voters.

Taiwan has put its military on alert and conducted civil defense exercises, while the US has deployed numerous naval assets in the region.

Biden administration And Pelosi said the U.S. remains committed to the “one-China” policy, which recognizes Beijing as China’s government but allows informal ties and security ties with Taipei. The administration encouraged but did not prevent Pelosi from attending.

China has also cut off security and climate talks with the US and imposed sanctions on Pelosi in response to the visit.

China cannot isolate Taiwan, Pelosi said Friday in Tokyo, the last stop of her Asian tour. By preventing US officials from going there.

Pelosi is a longtime advocate for human rights in China. He, along with other lawmakers, visited Beijing’s Tiananmen Square in 1991 to support democracy two years after a bloody military crackdown on protesters in the square.

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Meanwhile, cyber attacks aimed at bringing down Taiwan’s foreign ministry website doubled from Thursday to Friday, compared with similar attacks prior to Pelosi’s visit, Taiwan’s Central News Agency reported. The ministry did not specify the source of the attack.

Other ministries and government agencies such as the Ministry of Home Affairs have also faced similar attacks on their websites, the report said.

A distributed-denial-of-service attack aims to overload a website with requests for information, eventually crashing it and making it inaccessible to other users.

On Saturday, Ou Yang Li-hsing, deputy head of Taiwan’s defense ministry’s research and development division, was found dead in his hotel room after suffering a heart attack, the Central News Agency reported. He was 57 and oversaw several missile development projects.

His hotel room in the southern district of Pingtung, where he was on a business trip, showed no signs of intrusion, the report said.

Taiwanese overwhelmingly support maintaining the island’s current status of de facto independence and reject China’s demands to unify the island with the mainland under communist control.

Globally, most countries subscribe to the “one-China” policy of maintaining diplomatic ties with Beijing.

Any company that fails to recognize Taiwan as part of China faces a swift backlash as Chinese consumers often vow to boycott its products.

On Friday, Mars Wrigley, the maker of the Snickers candy bar, apologized after posting a video and merchandise featuring South Korean boy band BTS, referring to Taiwan as a country, and drawing swift criticism from Chinese users.

In a statement on its Weibo account, the company expressed its “deepest apologies”.

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“Mars Wrigley respects China’s national sovereignty and territorial integrity and conducts business operations in strict compliance with local Chinese laws and regulations,” the statement said.

In a separate post, the company added that “there is only one China” and said that “Taiwan is an inalienable part of China’s territory.”

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