Washington calls on Beijing to stop its military maneuvers to reduce tensions

According to Taiwan, 68 planes and 13 Chinese warships crossed the center line of the strait on Friday, which separates the island from mainland China during the gigantic maneuvers organized by Beijing.

The United States challenges China

The White House has called on China to cease its military maneuvers, which have been underway since Nancy Pelosi’s controversial visit to Taiwan, in order to reduce tensions in the region. “The Chinese can do a lot to reduce tensions [en cours] by ceasing their provocative military exercises and calming the tone,” said National Security Council spokesman John Kirby. He also assured that the United States would continue to maintain military contacts “at the highest level” with China. And this, despite the fact that Beijing has suspended several cooperation agreements, particularly in this area.

John Kirby also denounced Beijing’s “irresponsible” decision on Friday to suspend the dialogue on climate change with the United States, which “punishes the whole world”. “They think they’re punishing us by shutting down those communication channels,” he noted. “In fact, they are punishing the whole world because climate change knows no geographical limits or borders,” he added. “We think it’s fundamentally irresponsible.”

The Chinese Ambassador is summoned to the White House

The White House has summoned China’s ambassador to Washington to condemn China’s “irresponsible” behavior over Taiwan, said executive branch spokesman for national security issues John Kirby. Qin Gang was summoned after the Chinese military’s “provocative” show of force in response to the visit to Taiwan by US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi. He did not specify who received the ambassador.

“We made it clear to the ambassador that Beijing’s activities are a matter of concern for Taiwan, for us and for our partners around the world,” he said. We have made it clear once again, as we have done in private at the highest level and in public: nothing has changed in our One China policy.” The United States does not recognize Taiwan’s independence, while supporting the island’s right to remain democratic.

Cooling of relations between China and the United States

China announced Friday to end cooperation with the United States on several issues after the visit this week to Taiwan by Nancy Pelosi, President of the American House of Representatives.

China will ‘suspend China-US climate change talks’ and cancel a military leadership talk as well as two security meetings, the Chinese foreign ministry has said, citing ‘contempt’ shown by Nancy “Pelosi regarding China’s strong opposition” to his visit to Taiwan.

The Speaker of the House of Representatives and her “close family” are also subject to sanctions. With her visit, Nancy Pelosi “seriously interfered in China’s internal affairs and undermined its sovereignty and territorial integrity,” the Foreign Ministry said, without giving details of these sanctions.

“Disproportionate” exercises

For its part, Taiwan castigated its “malicious neighbor” on Friday on the second day of the largest military exercises ever organized around the island by China, insensitive to outraged protests from the United States and its allies. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken also condemned China’s military maneuvers around Taiwan, pointing to “provocations” which represent “a significant escalation” in tensions.

The military exercises conducted by China all around Taiwan “are disproportionate and destabilizing”, reacted for her part the Australian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Penny Wong.

Beijing on Thursday fired ballistic missiles and deployed its air force and navy in six maritime zones around Taiwan, approaching up to 20 km from the coast and disrupting some of the world’s busiest trade routes, to express its anger. after US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taipei.

Communist China, which considers Taiwan to be part of its territory, saw the visit as a major provocation. Washington for its part accused the Chinese government of having overreacted.

The exercises, including a “conventional missile assault” in waters east of Taiwan according to the Chinese Ministry of Defense, are to continue until noon Sunday. On Friday, Taipei said that many “planes and warships” had crossed the “median line” of the Strait of Taipei, which separates the island from the mainland, at the end of the morning.

According to the official New China news agency, the People’s Liberation Army “flew more than 100 warplanes, including fighters and bombers”, as well as “more than ten destroyers and frigates” on Thursday. State broadcaster CCTV claimed that Chinese missiles even flew over Taiwan for the first time.

Missiles over Taiwan

The Taiwanese government told him that the Chinese army had launched 11 Donfeng-class ballistic missiles “in several bursts”. Japan counted nine, four of which “would have flown over the main island of Taiwan”.

The Taipei Defense Ministry, however, did not confirm the trajectory of the projectiles, “considering that the main purpose of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) launch of missiles is to intimidate us and in order to protect the capabilities intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance of the army,” according to a press release.

“We didn’t expect the malevolent neighbor to flaunt its power at our doorstep, and arbitrarily endanger the world’s busiest waterways with its military exercises,” Taiwan’s premier told reporters. Su Tseng-chang.

American shooting report

Washington accused Beijing of having “chosen to overreact” to Nancy Pelosi’s visit, and warned that its aircraft carrier USS Reagan would continue to “monitor” the surroundings of the island, while announcing that it had postponed an intercontinental missile test. to avoid aggravating the crisis.

China “used the visit of the Speaker of the House of Representatives as a pretext to increase its provocative military operations in and around the Taiwan Strait”, said White House spokesman for strategic affairs John Kirby. “The temperature is quite high,” but tensions “can drop very easily if the Chinese stop these very aggressive military exercises,” he said.

Japanese protest

Japan expressed a formal diplomatic protest against Beijing, believing that five of the Chinese missiles fell inside its exclusive economic zone (EEZ). These maneuvers are “a serious problem which affects our national security and that of our citizens”, declared Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida. “We call for the immediate cessation of military exercises.”

In Tokyo, the last stage of her eventful Asian tour, Nancy Pelosi affirmed that the United States “will not allow” China to isolate Taiwan. This tour of the region “was not about changing the status quo here in Asia, changing the status quo in Taiwan,” she said.

“Blatant provocation”

But Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said in Phnom Penh on the sidelines of a regional summit on Thursday that the “blatant provocation” by the United States had set an “unfortunate precedent”. “If it is not corrected and countered, will the principle of non-interference in internal affairs still exist? Will international law always be respected? he said, according to New China.

The maneuvers encroach on some of the busiest shipping routes on the planet, through which essential electronic equipment from factories in East Asia is shipped to global markets.

Taiwan’s Maritime and Port Bureau has warned ships passing through this area and several international airlines have said they will reroute their flights to avoid the airspace around the island.

“The closure of these transport routes – even temporarily – has consequences not only for Taiwan, but also for trade flows linked to Japan and South Korea,” wrote in a note Nick Marro, senior global trade analyst. of the Economist Intelligence Unit.

But Taipei markets appeared to ignore the tensions. Taiwan’s Taiex Shipping and Transportation Index, which tracks major maritime and air transport stocks, gained 2.3% on Friday morning. Analysts agree that, despite its aggressive attitude, Beijing does not currently want an armed confrontation with the United States and its allies over Taiwan.

“The last thing Xi wants is the outbreak of an accidental war,” said Titus Chen, associate professor of political science at National Sun Yat-Sen University in Taiwan.

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