The Taiwan Ministry of Defense has neither confirmed nor denied that missiles flew over Taiwan. If true, it would be the first time Chinese missiles have flown over the self-ruled island.
The Ministry of Defense called the exercises “very provocative”.
“The Ministry of National Defense pointed out that the military exercises of the Chinese army, whether it be launching ballistic missiles or deliberately crossing the median line of the strait, are highly provocative acts,” the military news agency reported Friday. adding that the ministry said it was determined not to let the situation escalate.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken also condemned China’s ongoing exercises on Friday, calling them a “significant escalation”.
“China has chosen to overreact and use Speaker Pelosi’s visit as a pretext to increase provocative military activity in and around the Taiwan Strait,” Blinken said at a media briefing during a meeting with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. in Cambodia.
“There is no justification for this extreme, disproportionate and escalating military response.”
The exercises, which started Thursday, are expected to last until Sunday.
The Chinese Communist Party has never ruled Taiwan, but claims it as its own territory. While Chinese President Xi Jinping views Taiwan’s “reunification” with the mainland as a historic inevitability, recent polls show that the majority of Taiwanese have no desire to be part of China, preferring instead the status quo. wants to maintain.
China repeatedly warned the US about the visit, which it says “constitutes a serious breach of China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity”. The White House says the speaker’s visit was in line with US policy toward Taiwan and should not be used to hasten a crisis.
Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen called on China on Thursday evening to “act with reasonableness and exercise restraint”. “We call on the international community to support democratic Taiwan and end these one-sided, irrational military exercises,” she said, according to a statement on her official Facebook page.
Taiwan’s neighbors and US allies in the region have expressed growing concern over China’s aggression.
Japan on Friday called on China to immediately stop the exercises. “China’s actions this time have a serious impact on peace and stability in our region and the international community,” Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said.
Beijing defended the military exercises, saying they were “in accordance with international law and practice”.
“As for the ‘exclusive economic zone’ you mentioned, you should know, and the Japanese side should also know that China and Japan have not yet demarcated the relevant waters, so there is no such thing as ‘Japan’s exclusive economic zone’, Hua Chunying, a spokesman for China’s foreign ministry, told a news conference.