Taiwan: Chinese exercises “affect our national security”, assures the Japanese Prime Minister

Japan, a close ally of the United States but of which China is also the main trading partner, found itself at the forefront of Sino-American tensions around Taiwan, multiplying calls for the “immediate cessation” of military exercises. Beijing.

Chinese ballistic missile launches around Taiwan, some of which are believed to have fallen into Japan’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ), are “a serious problem that affects our national security and that of our citizens”, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio said on Friday. Kishida.

“We call for the immediate cessation of the Chinese military exercises” which began Thursday and must continue until Sunday noon, added Fumio Kishida after a meeting with the speaker of the American House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi, who arrived the day before at the evening in Tokyo.

He confirmed that Japan and the United States “will continue to coordinate closely to maintain peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait.”

Calls for an “immediate halt” to Chinese military exercises

Nancy Pelosi, whose first visit to Japan since 2015, provoked the anger of China by going to Taiwan on Tuesday and Wednesday, Beijing considering this autonomous territory of 23 million inhabitants as an integral part of its territory.

China has started military exercises on an unprecedented scale around the island, using combat planes and helicopters and firing ballistic missiles, some of which are said to have flown over Taiwan and fell into Japan’s EEZ for the first time, according to the Japanese Ministry of Defence.

In Phnom Penh, where he was attending a meeting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), Japanese Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi also called for an “immediate halt” to Chinese military exercises. “China’s actions this time have a serious impact on regional peace and stability,” he said.

An overreaction, according to Washington

For his part, the Japanese Minister of Defense Nobuo Kishi described these exercises as “extremely threatening”, while certain islands of the department of Okinawa, in the extreme south of Japan, are only a hundred kilometers from Taiwan.

“Japan has lodged a protest with China through diplomatic channels,” Nobuo Kishi said. He cited the figure of nine Chinese missiles fired, five of which seem to have crashed southwest of the Japanese island of Hateruma.

Through the voice of White House spokesman for strategic issues John Kirby, Washington accused Beijing of having “chosen to overreact” to Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan. He warned that the USS Reagan aircraft carrier would continue to “monitor” the area surrounding the island, while announcing that it had postponed an intercontinental missile test so as not to aggravate the crisis.

Nancy Pelosi also reacted, refusing to give in to the intimidation. “They will not isolate Taiwan by preventing us from going there. We had high-level visits, from senators in the spring, in a bi-partisan way (…) and we will not let them isolate Taiwan”, launched the president of the American House of Representatives.

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