China is offering its military exercises around Taiwan as proof of its ability to blockade the self-ruled island in the event of war, as operations in response to a visit by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi entered a second day.
Chinese warplanes and warships conducted maneuvers off the coast of Taiwan on Friday morning, Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense said. During the operation, the Chinese military crossed the median line of the Taiwan Strait, a demarcated border that Taipei says is advancing areas of de facto control, the ministry said.
Activity on Friday appeared limited after China bombarded Taiwan with rockets and ballistic missiles the previous day. The four-day exercise was described as unprecedented by Chinese military experts and state media. In Cambodia, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken told a regional meeting that they had made “significant progress”.
Chinese troops conducted live fire in six demarcated zones opposite Taiwan’s military bases and its biggest commercial ports, prompting China’s military, the People’s Liberation Army, to impose a blockade on the island for the first time, a breakthrough backed by state media in Beijing. The areas overlap in Taiwan’s claimed territorial waters.
major gene. Meng Xiangqing, a professor at the National Defense University of the People’s Liberation Army, told Chinese state broadcaster that the PLA fired missiles at the main island of Taiwan on Thursday, the first time the military had done so. gene. Meng did not specify how many were fired, but said they missed an area where the Taiwan Patriot had installed anti-missile batteries and which the US Navy is monitoring. Taiwan said Beijing fired 11 ballistic missiles near the island.
The exercises simulate real war, Gen. Meng said, with China showing the accuracy and mobility of weapons that can now cover the entire island. “We can say that we have the ability to turn the exercise into a real war at any time,” he said.
It is also the first time that Chinese aircraft have participated in the exercise in group formation, Gen. Meng said. Two of the Chinese carriers, Liaoning and Shandong, trained earlier this week at the Mrs. Pelosi in Taiwan, which coincided with the PLA’s 95th anniversary. The location of the carriers cannot be determined.
The White House announced that the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan and escort ships would remain in the region to monitor the situation.
On Thursday afternoon, the Eastern Theater Command in the PLA announced that it had successfully completed all live-fire operations in the waters east of Taiwan and lifted traffic controls in the area. Late on Friday, it said the second day of the exercise was taking place as planned. State television broadcast footage of flying jet fighters and sailing warships from Thursday’s exercises, and there was no mention or footage of live fire. More than 200 ships that regularly sail in the waters around Taiwan have moved out of the six zones. Fewer ships were still passing through the zones on Friday, down from an average of 240 a day last week, data from Lloyd’s List Intelligence showed. The Taiwan Strait is an important shipping route through which approximately half of the global container fleet and 90% of the world’s largest tonnage ships passed last year.
Kaohsiung and Keelung, Taiwan’s two largest ports, are still open for business, but ship arrivals have dropped by a quarter in the past two days, data show.
While the overall situation in Taiwan remained calm after Thursday’s drills, Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen urged Beijing to act sensibly and with restraint. “Taiwan will not escalate the conflict, but we are determined to protect our sovereignty, our security and our democracy,” he said in a video released on Thursday.
On Friday, a prominent figure in Taiwan’s world-leading semiconductor industry announced a $100 million donation to support the island’s civil defense and fight China’s psychological warfare.
Robert Tsao, founder of United Microelectronics Corp. or UMC, said there are people in Taiwan who cannot be compromised by the lure of Beijing’s economic power or fear its military might. He called on other people to come to the island’s defense.
UMC, a Taiwanese chip maker that also operates two manufacturing plants in China, referred a request for comment to Mr. Tsao himself, without further details. After his retirement, Mr. Tsao remained the Honorary Chairman of UMC and was not involved in the day-to-day operations of the company.
On Friday afternoon, China announced that in response to Mrs. Pelosi. Countermeasures include canceling talks between military leaders and two security meetings and suspending cooperation in the fight against crime. She also announced sanctions against Mrs. Pelosi and her family.
While visiting Japan on the last leg of her Asia tour, Mrs. Pelosi said Beijing likely saw her visit as an opportunity to hold exercises and said the US would continue to negotiate with Taiwan despite criticism from China.
“We will not allow them to isolate Taiwan,” he told a news conference in Tokyo on Friday.
While visiting Taiwan, Ms Pelosi defied repeated warnings from Beijing. US Air Force One, which brought its delegation from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, to Taipei took a three-hour detour, flying over Indonesia and the Philippines before landing in Taipei.
gene. he said. Meng, a Chinese military expert, told Chinese state broadcaster that the circuitous route is a response to the deterrent effect created by China’s commitment to Taiwan.
He said the PLA was watching Mrs. Pelosi’s flight to Taiwan was watched during the trip. He did not say whether the Chinese warplanes physically shielded his plane.