UPDATE ON THE SITUATION – Chinese forces continue this Saturday their largest exercises ever organized around Taiwan.
Taiwan on Saturday accused the Chinese military of faking an attack on the island, with China stepping up its retaliation after US number three Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taipei suspended the Beijing-Washington climate dialogue.
The stay of Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House of Representatives, is experienced as a “provocationby Beijing, because Washington had pledged not to have official relations with the island territory claimed by China.
In response, Chinese diplomacy announced on Friday evening the “suspensionof several cooperation projects with the United States, particularly in the areas of justice, the fight against drugs, but also on climate change. The two countries, the largest emitters of greenhouse gases in absolute terms, had nevertheless signed a surprise agreement on the climate at the COP26 summit in Glasgow last year.
On the military front, China is continuing Saturday its largest exercises ever organized around Taiwan. They must last until Sunday noon (04:00 GMT) and are presented as a workout at a “blockade” of the island.
SEE ALSO – Chinese ‘planes and warships’ crossed the ‘median line’ of the Taiwan Strait
Taiwanese authorities announced on Saturday that they had detected “multiplesChinese planes and ships in the Taiwan Strait between the island and mainland China. “Some of them crossed the middle line» which cuts the strait in two and «are seen as carrying out a mock attack on the main island of Taiwan“Said the Taiwanese Ministry of Defense.
The Chinese army announced that it had deployed fighters, bombers and numerous destroyers and escort boats the day before to participate in these maneuvers carried out “day and night“, she pointed out.
A warning sent to the Taiwanese president, from an independence party, and to the United States, accused by Beijing of having “betrayedtheir word by strengthening their relations with the Taiwanese authorities in recent years.
The Chinese military on Saturday released a photo of what it says is a Taiwanese navy ship, photographed near the island’s shores from the deck of a Chinese military boat just a few hundred meters away.
She also published on the night of Friday to Saturday the video of an air force pilot filming, from his cockpit, the coast and the mountains of Taiwan. Impressive images supposed to demonstrate Beijing’s ability to approach very close to the coast of the island.
For the first time, missiles flew over Taiwan during these military exercises, said Chinese state television CCTV. Neither the Chinese army nor the Taiwanese army, however, confirmed this information.
China has also announced new “real-fire” maneuvers from Saturday until August 15 in a small maritime area very close to the Chinese port of Lianyungang (east), on the edge of the Yellow Sea which separates China of the Korean Peninsula.
On the Taipei side, the authorities denounced the actions of their “malicious neighborand announced that 68 aircraft and 13 Chinese military ships had crossed the “median line“. Drawn unilaterally by the United States during the Cold War, this line has never been recognized by Beijing.
The scale of the exercises has drawn condemnation from G7 countries, the United States and their allies. The White House summoned the Chinese ambassador, Qin Gang, to castigate behavior deemed “irresponsible».
Beijing’s decision to suspend climate dialogue with Washington has drawn another wave of criticism. “It’s obviously worryingAlden Meyer, an analyst at the E3G think tank, specializing in climate change, told AFP. “It is impossible to tackle the climate emergency if the two main economies and the two biggest emitters do not act, and it is always better if they do so in collaboration.»
The spokesman for the US executive for national security affairs, John Kirby, on Friday blasted him for a decision “fundamentally irresponsible». «China is not just punishing the United States, it is punishing the whole world“, he added.
UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres expressed his dismay. For him, “it is impossible to solve the most pressing problems in the world without effective dialogue and cooperation between the two countries“said his spokesperson.
With China-Taiwan tensions at their highest in nearly 30 years and an admittedly measured risk of military conflict, the deterioration in Beijing-Washington relations could be lasting, experts note.
SEE ALSO — Chinese ‘planes and warships’ crossed the ‘median line’ of the Taiwan Strait
«The US-China relationship is currently in very bad shape.“, tells AFP Bonnie Glaser, China specialist at the German Marshall Fund of the United States research center in Washington She quotes as “particularly worrying» the suspension of cooperation agreements crucial for the stability of the region, such as the one on maritime military cooperation aimed precisely at preserving escalation.
For Bonnie Glaser, the United States has undoubtedly “underestimatedthe anger of Chinese public opinion. Most analysts agree, however, that despite these military exercises, Beijing does not want an armed confrontation for the time being.
SEE ALSO — Taiwan: China urges US not to ‘create bigger crisis’