BEIJING: China carried out fresh military drills around Taiwan Monday, Beijing said, defying calls to end its largest-ever exercises encircling the island in the wake of a visit by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Beijing has raged at the trip by Pelosi — the highest-ranking elected US official to visit Taiwan in decades — ripping up a series of talks and cooperation agreements with Washington, most notably on climate change and defence.
It has also deployed fighter jets, warships and ballistic missiles in what analysts have described as practice for a blockade and ultimate invasion of the self-ruled democratic island that China claims as its territory.
Those drills had been expected to draw to a close on Sunday, but China said Monday they were still ongoing.“The eastern theatre of the Chinese People´s Liberation Army continued to carry out practical joint exercises and training in the sea and airspace around Taiwan island,” the military said.
The exercises, the PLA´s Eastern Command added, were “focusing on organising joint anti-submarine and sea assault operations”.
Taipei condemned Beijing for extending the drills.“China´s provocation and aggression have harmed the status quo of the Taiwan Strait and raised tensions in the region,” the island´s foreign ministry said in a statement.
The Taiwanese military said it detected 39 Chinese warplanes and 13 ships operating in the strait on Monday, with 21 of the aircraft crossing the median line — an unofficial demarcation between China and Taiwan that the former does not recognise.
Taiwan has remained defiant throughout the Chinese drills.Its military said it would hold anti-landing exercises in Taiwan´s south on Tuesday and Thursday.“We will practise counter moves against simulated enemy attacks on Taiwan,” Lou Woei-jye, spokesman for the Eighth Army Corps, told AFP.
They will include the deployment of hundreds of troops and about 40 howitzer guns, the military said.Taiwan has insisted that no Chinese warplanes or ships have entered Taiwan´s territorial waters — within 12 nautical miles of land — during Beijing´s drills.
But to show how close it came to Taiwan´s shores, the Chinese military released a video of an air force pilot filming the island´s coastline and mountains from his cockpit.The Eastern Command also shared a photo it said was of a warship on patrol with Taiwan´s shoreline visible in the background.
Ballistic missiles were fired over Taiwan´s capital during the exercises last week, according to Chinese state media.The scale and intensity of China´s drills — as well as its withdrawal from key talks on climate and defence — have triggered outrage in the United States and other democracies.US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has said Washington is “determined to act responsibly” to avoid a major global crisis.But Beijing on Monday defended its behaviour as “firm, forceful and appropriate” to American provocation.
“(We) are only issuing a warning to the perpetrators,” foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin told a regular briefing, promising China would “firmly smash the Taiwan authorities´ illusion of gaining independence through the US”.
“We urge the US to do some earnest reflection, and immediately correct its mistakes.”Experts say the drills have revealed an increasingly emboldened Chinese military capable of carrying out a gruelling blockade of the island and obstructing US forces from coming to Taiwan´s aid.
“In some areas, the PLA might even surpass US capabilities,” Grant Newsham, a researcher at the Japan Forum for Strategic Studies and a former US Navy officer, told AFP.
“If the battle is confined to the area right around Taiwan, today´s Chinese navy is a dangerous opponent — and if the Americans and Japanese do not intervene for some reason, things would be difficult for Taiwan.”
US President Joe Biden voiced his concern Monday over China´s extension of military drills around Taiwan, but added that he did not expect the tense situation to escalate further.
Biden spoke to reporters after Beijing said it carried out fresh military drills around the self-ruled island on Monday, defying calls to end days of exercises in the wake of a visit by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
The military exercises, China´s largest-ever, had been expected to draw to a close on Sunday.“I´m not worried, but I´m concerned they´re moving as much as they are. But I don´t think they´re going to do anything more than they are,” Biden told reporters at Dover Air Force Base.Pelosi´s trip to Taiwan last week — the highest-ranking visit by a US official in decades — enraged Beijing, which views the island as part of its territory awaiting reunification, by force if necessary.
Asim Iftikhar will be leaving for Paris on his new assignment next month
NEW DELHI: India banned an Islamist group and its affiliates for five years on Wednesday over alleged terrorism links,...
ISLAMABAD: Eminent constitutional expert Irfan Qadir, who has expertise in prosecution matters, has been appointed as...
Islamabad High Court. —File PhotoISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court reserved Wednesday its order on a plea by...
ISLAMABAD: EU will provide €265 million under the six-year multi indicative programme , reported local media on...
Asad Majeed is likely to be the new foreign secretary as incumbent secretary Sohail Mehmood is retiring today