China begins ‘illegitimate and irresponsible’ live-fire military drills – Xinhua English.news.cn

  • Chinese military exercises, involving live fire, begin
  • Suspicious drones fly over Taiwan’s outlying islands
  • Taiwan says several government websites have been hacked
  • China says it’s an internal matter

TAIPEI, Aug 4 (Reuters) – China launched unprecedented live-fire military drills in six areas surrounding Taiwan on Thursday, the day after U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited the island on Thursday. autonomous that Beijing considers as a Chinese territory. .

Shortly after the scheduled start at 04:00 GMT, China’s state broadcaster CCTV said the drills had started and would end at 04:00 GMT on Sunday. They would include live fire on the waters and in the airspace surrounding Taiwan, he said. Read more

Taiwanese officials said the drills violate United Nations rules, invade Taiwan’s territorial space and pose a direct challenge to free air and sea navigation.

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China is conducting drills on the busiest international waterways and airways and it is “irresponsible and illegitimate behavior”, Taiwan’s ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has said.

Taiwan’s cabinet spokesperson, expressing strong condemnation of the drills, also said the websites of the Defense Ministry, Foreign Ministry and presidential office were attacked by hackers.

On Wednesday evening, just hours after Pelosi left for South Korea, unidentified planes, likely drones, flew over the Kinmen Islands area on the outskirts of Taiwan near the mainland coast, the ministry said. Taiwanese Defense. Read more

Major General Chang Zone-sung of the army’s Kinmen Defense Command told Reuters the drones arrived in pairs and flew over the Kinmen area twice on Wednesday evening at around 9 p.m. (1300 GMT). and 10 p.m.

“We immediately fired flares to issue warnings and chase them away. After that they turned back. They entered our restricted area and that’s why we dispersed them,” he said. .

China, which claims Taiwan as its own territory and reserves the right to take it by force, said Thursday its disputes with the self-governing island were an internal matter. Read more

“Our punishment of pro-Taiwan independence stalwarts from outside forces is reasonable, legal,” the Beijing-based China Taiwan Affairs Office said.

Unusually, the drills in six areas around Taiwan were announced with a location map released by the official Xinhua news agency – a factor that some analysts and scholars say points to the need to address a nationwide audience. and foreign. Read more

On Thursday, the eight most popular posts on China’s Twitter-like Weibo service were Taiwan-related, with most expressing support for Pelosi’s drills or fury.

“Let’s unite the motherland,” several users wrote.

In Beijing, security in the area around the US embassy remained unusually tight on Thursday, as it has been throughout this week. There were no signs of any significant protests or calls to boycott American products.

“I think this (Pelosi’s visit) is a good thing,” said a man named Zhao in the capital’s central business district. “It gives us the opportunity to surround Taiwan and then use that opportunity to take Taiwan by force. I think we should thank Comrade Pelosi.”

COMMITTED SOLIDARITY

Pelosi, the highest U.S. visitor to Taiwan in 25 years, praised its democracy and pledged American solidarity during her brief stopover, adding that Chinese anger could not stop world leaders from visiting.

China summoned the US ambassador to Beijing to protest his visit and halted several agricultural imports from Taiwan.

“Our delegation has come to Taiwan to say unequivocally that we will not abandon Taiwan,” Pelosi told Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen, who Beijing suspects is pushing for formal independence – a red line for China. Read more

“Now, more than ever, America’s solidarity with Taiwan is crucial, and that is the message we bring here today.”

The United States and the foreign ministers of the Group of Seven countries have warned China against using Pelosi’s visit as a pretext for military action against Taiwan.

“Unfortunately, Taiwan has been prevented from participating in global meetings, most recently at the World Health Organization, due to objections from the Chinese Communist Party,” Pelosi said in a statement released after his departure.

“While they can prevent Taiwan from sending its leaders to global forums, they cannot prevent world leaders or anyone else from traveling to Taiwan to pay tribute to its thriving democracy, highlight its many successes and reaffirm our commitment to continue the collaboration,” Pelosi added. . Read more

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Reporting by Yimou Lee; Additional reporting by Tony Munroe; Written by Raju Gopalakrishnan; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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