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China fired multiple waves of missiles over the Taiwan Strait, hitting targets in the waters surrounding the island of Taiwan after a visit from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi sparked a tense military stalemate in the East Asian region.
Taiwan Ministry of Defense confirmed 11 Chinese Dongfeng-type missiles were fired toward Taiwan between 1:56 p.m. and 4 p.m. Thursday afternoon local time. Taiwan’s armed forces said they were on high alert, monitoring Chinese military activity in the area, and the island’s long-range radar had detected the incoming missiles.
“We condemn such an irrational action which has jeopardized regional peace,” Taiwan’s defense ministry said. said in a press release.
Five of the missiles fired landed in waters around Taiwan that are part of the exclusive economic zone that Japan oversees and claims economic rights, risking a stalemate in Japan, an ally of the United States.
“This is a serious issue that concerns our country’s national security and people’s safety,” Japanese Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi said. by Kyodo News.
Japan has steadily adopted a more assertive approach to national defense and security over the past two years, largely because of China’s threats to Taiwan.
“We must protect Taiwan, as a democratic country,” said Yasuhide Nakayama, Japan’s deputy defense minister. said at a conference in June 2021.
Pelosi is due to travel to Japan on Friday.
China is conducting live-fire military drills in six areas surrounding Taiwan. Joint sea and air exercises began Thursday morning and will continue until August 7 at least.
China says so spear several fighter jets, bombers, ships and early warning planes heading for waters around Taiwan on Thursday morning local time. Taiwan’s Ministry of Defense said it had detected some of these planes, possibly drones, flying over Taiwan’s Kinmen Islands, located just a few miles off the east coast of China, and that it fired flares to drive them away.
Since Tuesday, Chinese fighter jets have also conducted sorties over the Taiwan Strait, sometimes even venture on the median line that separates airspace under Chinese control from that of Taiwan, according to the Taiwan Defense Forces.
By Han Guan/AP
National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan criticized Chinese military exercises, in an interview with NPR Wednesday. “It will create risks and challenges, we think unnecessarily. And so what we hope is that the PRC will act responsibly and avoid the kind of escalation that could lead to error or miscalculation in the by air or by sea,” he said. .
China has already fired missiles at Taiwan. During what is called the Third Taiwan Strait CrisisChina repeatedly bombarded the waters around Taiwan throughout 1995 to 1996. This crisis was sparked by the visit of then Taiwanese President Lee Teng-hui to the United States to speak at Cornell University, over China’s objections.