Taiwan accuses China of simulating attacks on the island – 06/08/2022 – World

Taiwan’s Defense Ministry accused China of promoting simulated air and naval attacks on the main island on Saturday (6).

The statement, released in the early hours of the morning by Brazilian time, adds that several aircraft from Beijing were detected in Taiwanese airspace, some of which crossed the so-called Meridian Line, an unofficial border that divides the Taiwan Strait.

Also according to the folder, quoted by the Reuters agency, the local army issued an alert and deployed aerial reconnaissance forces, ships and missile launchers on the ground to deal with the situation. Tensions in the region have escalated this week since US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taipei.

Beijing, which had threatened Americans “not to play with fire” and indicated retaliation if the trip took place, has since taken real action. On Thursday (4), it fired ballistic missiles towards Taiwan. On Friday (5th), it promoted the largest air mobilization in its history in the strait.

In the context of these movements, on Wednesday (3), even before the beginning of the exercises, at least 22 Chinese planes had crossed the air border. At the same time, naval maneuvers using live ammunition were carried out to the north, southwest and east of the island, effectively blocking maritime traffic — with 13 vessels sailing close to the Median Line.

Until the publication of this text, it was not clear how far the Saturday exercises had advanced in relation to the previous ones.

China considers Taiwan a rebel province and promises to integrate it into its territory. Therefore, he sees any slightest sign of legitimacy for the territory, as Pelosi did, a recognition of the separatist forces.

The US House Speaker met with island officials and reiterated US support for local democracy, the first such visit in 25 years.

Beijing had warned that it considered Pelosi’s departure a violation of its sovereignty, noting that, despite supporting Taiwan militarily, Washington recognizes Chinese rights over the island, as it has maintained diplomatic relations with the communist dictatorship since 1979.

Such ambiguity is put to the test, with Beijing having announced on Friday sanctions against the Democratic deputy and cutting some items from the bilateral cooperation agenda. It is the most acute crisis between the two biggest powers in the world since the Third Taiwan Strait Crisis, which occurred in the wake of the trip of the then leader of the island to the US in 1995.

On Friday, on social media, Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen urged residents to remain calm and said the government “certainly can guarantee security.” “We have prepared a full response, and the military is doing its best to respond to the attacks.”

The exercises around Taiwan are a sort of dress rehearsal of a naval air blockade that could be done without the human cost of a territorial invasion, subjugating Taipei. It is one of the hypotheses on the table in Beijing, which has the incorporation of the island as a national priority. For leader Xi Jinping, the crisis serves as a ladder to assert power as he prepares to be reappointed for a new term in November.

The crisis in Taiwan also parallels the War in Ukraine, in which China politically supports its ally Vladimir Putin against Kiev and the West.

The military exercises are scheduled to end at 12 pm on Sunday (1 am in Brasília). Taiwan is on high military alert, and the US maintains ships, including an aircraft carrier, in the region and has deployed B-2 stealth bombers to Australia.

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