Politics

China-Taiwan news – live: US calls Beijing’s reaction ‘flagrantly provocative’



Missiles fired from Chinese coast amid Taiwan tensions

US secretary of state Antony Blinken told an Asian meeting of top diplomats today that China’s reaction to US house speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan was “flagrantly provocative”, a western official said.

Meanwhile, Ms Pelosi, who arrived in Japan last evening for the final leg of her Asia tour, said the trip to the region was “not about changing the status quo in Taiwan”.

Her diplomatic support to Taipei infuriated China, prompting it to hold live-fire military drills in the waters off Taiwan.

Five missiles landed in Japan’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ), prompting Tokyo to lodge a strong protest through diplomatic channels.

Japanese prime minister Fumio Kishida said China’s military exercises represent a “grave problem” that threatens regional peace and security and the missile launches need to be “stopped immediately”.

China says it summoned European diplomats in the country to protest statements issued by the Group of Seven nations and the European Union criticizing threatening Chinese military exercises surrounding Taiwan.

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China’s military makes dozens of crossing of Taiwan median line – reports

About 10 Chinese navy ships and 20 military aircraft briefly crossed the Taiwan Strait median line on Friday morning, a Taiwan source briefed on the matter told Reuters.

Around 10 Chinese navy ships crossed the median line and remained in the area on Friday morning, and about 20 Chinese military aircraft briefly crossed the median line, said the person, who declined to be identified due to the sensitivity of the matter.

A Chinese military jet flies over Pingtan island, one of mainland China’s closest point from Taiwan, in Fujian province on 5 August 2022

(AFP via Getty Images)

Earlier, Taiwan’s defence ministry said the island’s military has dispatched aircraft and ships and deployed land-based missile systems to monitor the situation there, as China conducts large-scale military drills in zones surrounding Taiwan.

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US-Taiwan collusion will put Taipei ‘towards the abyss of disaster’ says China

Claiming that China’s relationship with Taiwan is an internal matter, the Chinese defence ministry spokesperson said “the US-Taiwan collusion and provocation will only push Taiwan towards the abyss of disaster, bringing catastrophe to Taiwan compatriots”.

China’s vice minister Deng Li said Beijing would “prevent the country from splitting with the strongest determination, using all means and at any cost.”

A Chinese military vessel sails off Pingtan island, one of mainland China’s closest point from Taiwan, in Fujian province on 5 August 2022

(AFP via Getty Images)

“Pelosi‘s visit to Taiwan is a blatant political manipulation and a blatant and serious violation of China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity,” Deng said. “In response to the US-Taiwan collusion and provocation, China’s counterattack is only natural.”

Responding to the Chinese drills, president Tsai Ing-wen said Taiwan would not provoke conflicts but would firmly defend its sovereignty and national security.

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Taiwan slams ‘evil neighbour’ China after missiles fly over island

Taiwan condemned its “evil neighbour” today after China fired multiple missiles into its surrounding waters, as many as four of which flew over the island’s capital Taipei in an unprecedented escalation during live-fire exercises.

China launched its largest ever military drills in the seas and skies around Taiwan on Thursday, a day after US House speaker Nancy Pelosi enraged Beijing by making a solidarity trip to the self-ruled island that China claims as its own.

Later, Taiwan’s defence ministry said the missiles were high in the atmosphere and constituted no threat. It did not give details of their flight paths, citing intelligence concerns.

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US House speaker praises Taiwan, as she pledges US’ solidarity

US House speaker Nancy Pelosi praised Taiwan, pledged US solidarity and said her trip through Asia, which led to unprecedented military drills by an angry China, was never about changing the regional status quo.

“We have said from the start that our representation here is not about changing the status quo in Taiwan or the region,” she told a news conference after meeting with Japanese prime minister Fumio Kishida.

Nancy Pelosi participating in a press conference in US Embassy in Tokyo on 5 August 2022

(AFP via Getty Images)

“The Chinese government is not pleased that our friendship with Taiwan is a strong one,” she added.

“It is bipartisan in the House and in the Senate, overwhelming support for peace and the status quo in Taiwan.”

Ms Pelosi also lauded Taiwan’s democracy, economic successes and – in a veiled dig at China – its human rights record, noting support by Taiwan, the first Asian government to allow same-sex marriage, for LGBTQ rights.

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Pelosi criticises China over the abuse of Uighurs muslims: ‘It’s been labelled a genocide’

US House speaker Nancy Pelosi ruffled some more feathers today as she slammed China for its human rights record over the abuse of Uighur muslims.

“The fact is, I have said it again and again, if we do not speak out for human rights in China because of commercial interests, we lose all moral authority to speak out about human rights any place in the world,” she said.

“China has some contradictions – some progress in terms of lifting people up, some horrible things happening in terms of the Uyghurs. In fact, it’s been labelled a genocide.”

US House speaker Nancy Pelosi speaks during a press conference at the US Embassy in Tokyo on 5 August 2022, at the end of her Asian tour, which included a visit to Taiwan

(Afp/AFP via Getty Images)

The delegation member House Foreign Affairs Committee chair Gregory Meeks was even blunt. “They surely don’t want us to continue to talk about what’s happening in Xinjiang (with) the Uighurs,” he said.

“We’re going to speak up and speak out for human rights, human dignity, and democratic process. That’s what this trip was all about.”

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Oil tanker owners raise security alerts as airlines cancel flights to Taipei

Amid escalating tension in the Taiwan Strait, large oil tanker owners have since raised security alert levels and are diverting vessels, said Anoop Singh, head of tanker research at Braemar, a shipping risk manager.

Shipping insurance groups have also posted alerts to members, urging caution in navigating around Taiwan.

Though tankers and container vessels were still docking normally in Taiwan, analysts warned even minor delays for ships were a concern when global trade is still recovering from the impact of pandemic lockdowns.

A Chinese military jet flies over Pingtan island, one of mainland China’s closest point from Taiwan, in Fujian province on 5 August 2022

(AFP via Getty Images)

“As ships are utilized for by-passing the tensions and not for expediting trade it’s a move in the wrong direction – meaning more hardship for supply chains,” said Peter Sand, chief analyst at ocean freight platform Xeneta.

Meanwhile, airlines have also cancelled flights to Taipei and rerouted others to avoid nearby airspace that has been closed to civilian traffic during the Chinese military exercises.

“Though China’s action has yet to significantly disrupt ocean freight operations, a prolonged version certainly could,” said Zvi Schreiber, CEO at Freightos shipping index.

“Regional conflict could force vessels to take alternative routes, adding transit time, disrupting schedules and causing further delays and costs.”

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China’s military exercise disrupt key shipping lanes

China’s military exercises in the waters around Taiwan have prompted some ships to navigate around the Taiwan Strait and give the island a wide berth, disrupting key trading routes for cargo and commodities sailing around the world, analysts said.

Angered by US House speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan, China yesterday began four days of military drills around the disputed island, including firing live missiles and deploying fighter jets.

Although Taiwan’s ports are operating as normal, some cargo ships and oil tankers are re-routing around the island to avoid confrontation with the Chinese military, adding around half a day to voyages, analysts and ship owners said.

Tourist look up as a Chinese military jet flies over Pingtan island, one of mainland China’s closest point from Taiwan, in Fujian province on 5 August 2022

(AFP via Getty Images)

It is a reminder of the severe impact a conflict over Taiwan could have on global trade given the 180km wide (110-mile) Taiwan Strait and a shipping lane to the island’s east are major routes for ships transporting goods from East Asia to the US and Europe.

“Some ships have already taken precautions and are proceeding east of the island instead of through the Taiwan Strait,” said Niels Rasmussen, chief analyst at shipowner association Bimco.

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Asean slams progress on Myanmar peace plan at talks overshadowed by Taiwan

Southeast Asia’s regional bloc Asean is “deeply disappointed” by the limited progress made by Myanmar’s military rulers in implementing a peace agreement to end the conflict in the country, a communique issued by its foreign ministers said.

The communique was issued today and comes as Asean chair Cambodia hosts a broader international gathering, including counterparts from the United States, China, Russia, Japan, Britain and Australia.

The gathering has been overshadowed by tensions over developments around Taiwan following US House speaker Nancy Pelosi’s solidarity trip to self-ruled the island this week, which has infuriated Beijing.

China’s foreign minister Wang Yi (L), Japans foreign minister Yoshimasa Hayashi (2nd L), New Zealand’s foreign minister Nanaia Mahuta (3rd L), South Koreas foreign minister Park Jin (4th L), Russias foreign minister Sergei Lavrov (C) and US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken (R) attend the East Asia Summit Foreign Ministers meeting during the 55th Asean Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Phnom Penh on 5 August 2022

(AFP via Getty Images)

Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi and Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov walked out of a plenary meeting today when their Japanese counterpart spoke, a person in the room said.

Mr Wang had cancelled a meeting with Japan’s Yoshimasa Hayashi in Cambodia yesterday, with China citing displeasure over a G7 statement urging it to resolve tension over Taiwan peacefully.

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations had warned of the risk of miscalculations in the Taiwan Strait and “serious confrontation” among major powers, though today’s communique did not mention Taiwan.

The communique did, however, bring up Myanmar’s crisis since last year’s coup and recommended that an Asean summit in November assess progress by the junta in implementing the peace plan “to guide the decision on the next steps”.

“We extensively discussed the recent developments in Myanmar and expressed our concerns over the prolonged political crisis … including the execution of four opposition activists,” the communique said.

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China summons European diplomats over statement on Taiwan

China says it summoned European diplomats in the country to protest statements issued by the Group of Seven nations and the European Union criticizing threatening Chinese military exercises surrounding Taiwan.

The foreign ministry today said vice minister Deng Li made “solemn representations” over what he called “wanton interference in China’s internal affairs.”

A French-made Mirage 2000 fighter jet taxis on a runway in front of a hangar at the Hsinchu Air Base in Hsinchu on 5 August 2022

(AFP via Getty Images)

China has dispatched navy ships and warplanes and launched missiles into the Taiwan Strait in response to a visit this week by US House speaker Nancy Pelosi to Taiwan, which China regards as its own territory to be annexed by force if necessary.

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US calls China reaction to Pelosi’s visit ‘flagrantly provocative’

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken told an Asian meeting of top diplomats today that China’s reaction to US House speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan was “flagrantly provocative”, a western official said.

Mr Blinken, speaking at the East Asia Summit in Cambodia, said China had sought to intimidate not only Taiwan, but neighbours too, after it launched the largest-ever military drills in the Taiwan Strait, the official said.

US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken looks on at the East Asia Summit foreign ministers meeting during the 55th Asean foreign ministers’ meeting in Phnom Penh on 5 August 2022

(AFP via Getty Images)



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