Monday August 15, 2022

Missiles fired from Chinese coast amid Taiwan tensions

Nancy Pelosi, who arrived in Japan last evening for the final leg of her Asia tour, said the trip to the region was “not about changing the status quo in Taiwan”.

Her diplomatic support to Taipei infuriated China, prompting it to hold live-fire military drills in the waters off Taiwan.

China’s state broadcaster said the military exercises that are set to end on Sunday, would be the largest conducted by China in the Taiwan Strait. The exercises have involved live fire on the waters and in the airspace around the island.

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Five missiles landed in Japan’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ), prompting Tokyo to lodge a strong protest through diplomatic channels.

Speaking after the meeting Ms Pelosi, Japanese prime minister Fumio Kishida said China’s military exercises aimed at Taiwan represent a “grave problem” that threatens regional peace and security and the missile launches need to be “stopped immediately”.

The US House speaker, who previous asserted American commitment to democracy in Taiwan and elsewhere as “ironclad,” said China will not isolate Taipei by preventing American officials from travelling there.

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China conducts ‘precision missile strikes’ in Taiwan Strait

China conducted “precision missile strikes” yesterday in waters off Taiwan’s coasts as part of military exercises that have raised tensions in the region to their highest level in decades following a visit by US House speaker Nancy Pelosi.

China earlier announced that military exercises by its navy, air force and other departments were underway in six zones surrounding Taiwan, which Beijing claims as its own territory to be annexed by force if necessary.

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The drills are intended to advertise China’s threat to attack the self-governing island republic. Along with its moves to isolate Taiwan diplomatically, China has long threatened military retaliation over moves by the island to solidify its de facto independence with the support of key allies including the US.

<img src="https://static.independent.co.uk/2022/08/05/05/GettyImages-1242313483.jpg?quality=75&width=982&height=726&auto=webp" srcset="https://static.independent.co.uk/2022/08/05/05/GettyImages-1242313483.jpg?quality=75&width=640&auto=webp&crop=982:726,smart 640w" alt="

A French-made Mirage 2000 fighter jet takes off at the Hsinchu Air Base in Hsinchu on 5 August 2022

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A French-made Mirage 2000 fighter jet takes off at the Hsinchu Air Base in Hsinchu on 5 August 2022

(AFP via Getty Images)

China fired long-range explosive projectiles, the Eastern Theater Command of the People’s Liberation Army, the ruling Communist Party’s military wing, said in a statement. It also said it carried out multiple conventional missile launches in three different areas in the eastern waters off Taiwan.

An accompanying graphic on state broadcaster CCTV showed those that occurred in the north, east, and south.“All missiles hit the target accurately,” the Eastern Theater said in its announcement. No further details were given.

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Kishida: China’s military exercise aimed at Taiwan ‘grave proble’ threatening regional peace

Japanese prime minister Fumio Kishida said Friday that China’s military exercises aimed at Taiwan represent a “grave problem” that threatens regional peace and security after five ballistic missiles launched as part of the drills landed in Japan’s exclusive economic zone.

Mr Kishida, speaking after breakfast with US House speaker Nancy Pelosi and her congressional delegation, said the missile launches need to be “stopped immediately.”

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Japanese prime minister Fumio Kishida speaks to the media after a meeting with US House speaker Nancy Pelosi at the prime minister’s official residence in Tokyo on 5 August 2022

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Japanese prime minister Fumio Kishida speaks to the media after a meeting with US House speaker Nancy Pelosi at the prime minister’s official residence in Tokyo on 5 August 2022

(AFP via Getty Images)

China, which claims Taiwan and has threatened to annex it by force if necessary, called Ms Pelosi’s visit earlier this week to the self-ruled island a provocation and on Thursday began military exercises, including missile strike training, in six zones surrounding Taiwan, in what could be its biggest since the mid-1990s.

Japanese defence minister Nobuo Kishi said five missiles landed on Thursday in Japan’s exclusive economic zone off Hateruma, an island far south of Japan’s main islands. He said Japan protested to China, saying the missiles “threatened Japan’s national security and the lives of the Japanese people, which we strongly condemn.”

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China will not isolate Taiwan by preventing US officials from travelling there, says Pelosi

US House speaker Nancy Pelosi said today that China will not isolate Taiwan by preventing US officials from travelling there.

She made the remarks in Tokyo, the final leg of an Asia tour highlighted by a visit to Taiwan that infuriated China.

Ms Pelosi, the first House speaker to visit Taiwan in 25 years, said Wednesday in Taipei that the US commitment to democracy in the self-governing island and elsewhere “remains ironclad”.

<img src="https://static.independent.co.uk/2022/08/05/05/GettyImages-1242312572.jpg?quality=75&width=982&height=726&auto=webp" srcset="https://static.independent.co.uk/2022/08/05/05/GettyImages-1242312572.jpg?quality=75&width=640&auto=webp&crop=982:726,smart 640w" alt="

US House speaker Nancy Pelosi shakes hands with Japanese prime minister Fumio Kishida during a meeting at the prime minister’s official residence in Tokyo on 5 August 2022

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US House speaker Nancy Pelosi shakes hands with Japanese prime minister Fumio Kishida during a meeting at the prime minister’s official residence in Tokyo on 5 August 2022

(JAPAN POOL / JIJI PRESS/AFP via )

The House speaker and five other members of Congress arrived in Tokyo late Thursday after visiting Singapore, Malaysia, Taiwan and South Korea.

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Chinese ambassador issues chilling warning to Taiwan

A senior Chinese diplomat has issued a chilling warning to Taiwan not to assert its independence anymore, lest it have China “re-educate” the breakaway territory.

Read the full story, only from Independent Premium.

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Pelosi: Asian trip ‘is not about changing the status quo in Taiwan’

US House speaker Nancy Pelosi said today that the trip to Asia was never “about changing the status quo in Taiwan or the region”. She made the comments after meeting Japanese prime minister Fumio Kishida.

Ms Pelosi, who became the highest-level US official to visit Taiwan in 25 years, had praised its democracy and pledged solidarity, enraging China. It prompted the infuriated neighbour to hold live-fire military drills in the waters off Taiwan.

<img src="https://static.independent.co.uk/2022/08/05/04/GettyImages-1242312480.jpg?quality=75&width=982&height=726&auto=webp" srcset="https://static.independent.co.uk/2022/08/05/04/GettyImages-1242312480.jpg?quality=75&width=640&auto=webp&crop=982:726,smart 640w" alt="

Japan’s prime minister Fumio Kishida and US house speaker Nancy Pelosi pose for a photo session at the prime minister’s official residence in Tokyo on 5 August 2022

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Japan’s prime minister Fumio Kishida and US house speaker Nancy Pelosi pose for a photo session at the prime minister’s official residence in Tokyo on 5 August 2022

(JAPAN POOL / JIJI PRESS/AFP via )

China’s state broadcaster said the military exercises that began yesterday and are set to end on Sunday, would be the largest conducted by China in the Taiwan Strait. The exercises have involved live fire on the waters and in the airspace around the island.

Five missiles landed in Japan’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ), prompting Tokyo to lodge a strong protest through diplomatic channels.

One of Washington’s closest allies, Tokyo has been increasingly alarmed about China’s growing might in the Indo-Pacific and the possibility that Beijing could take military action against Taiwan.

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China’s Dongfeng missiles take center stage amid Taiwan tensions

Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defence has accused China of firing 11 Dongfeng ballistic missiles into waters to the northeast and southwest of the island as part of aggressive military drills intended as an intimidating show of force.

Tensions in the region have escalated considerably following a visit to Taiwan this week by Nancy Pelosi, speaker of the US House of Representatives, third in line to the presidency and the most senior American politician to visit the country in 25 years.

Beijing urged Ms Pelosi not to pay her respects to a territory that has its own democratic political system, constitution and military but which China considers its own, warning that the trip amounted to “playing with fire”.

After she brushed off those threats and arrived in Taipei, the superpower ordered five days of live-fire exercises and warned that regional conflict could become inevitable, ratcheting up tensions with the self-governing republic to their highest levels since 1996.

Joe Sommerlad with the full story.

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South Korean president misses Pelosi meeting for staycation

Nancy Pelosi’s much-watched Asia tour has included a run of high-profile meetings: conversations with the prime ministers of Singapore and Malaysia; a meeting with the president of Taiwan; and a likely dialogue with the prime minister of Japan by the end of the week.

Missing from that list is the president of South Korea, who missed an in-person get together with the House Speaker as he takes a staycation in Seoul.

Ms Pelosi arrived in South Korea on Wednesday evening. At the time Yoon Suk-yeol was in north Seoul attending a theater performance, grabbing selfies and dinner with the cast of a comedy about a subway station worker.

Mr Yoon’s office has explained he was unavailable to meet in person with the US leader.

Here’s our full story on the snub.

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Photos and videos capture Nancy Pelosi arriving in Japan

Nancy Pelosi arrived in Japan on Thursday evening.

She was greated by a delegation including US Ambassador Rahm Emanuel and Ricky Rupp, the commander of US forces in Japan.

Here’s what the scene looked like on the ground.

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Nancy Pelosi arrives in Japan

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi arrived in Japan on Thursday evening for the final leg of her Asia tour.

Her plane taxied in at Yokota Air Base in Tokyo around 10pm.

Ms Pelosi is scheduled to meet with the Speaker of Japan’s Lower House, Hosoda Hiroyuki, during her visit.

She will also have breakfast on Friday with Prime Minister Fumio Kishida to discuss the US-Japan alliance.

Japan has protested China’s military excercises near Taiwan, which came as the US official visited the contested island nation earlier this week.

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Another high-profile foreign trip—to the US

Nancy Pelosi isn’t the only leader on a controversial foreign tour.

A little over a week ago, Hungary’s prime minister delivered a speech about immigration in which he declared that Europeans “do not want to become peoples of mixed-race.”

The comments by Viktor Orban, the 59-year-old far-right leader, prompted outrage in his own country and across Europe for their explicit racism, and led to the resignation of his close adviser of 20 years, who described the speech as “pure Nazi text.”

But Mr Orban’s use of white supremacist rhetoric did little to dampen the enthusiasm of American conservatives for his visit to the United States this week.

The prime minister was pictured smiling alongside Donald Trump at his Bedminster golf resort on Tuesday. After the meeting, the former president released a statement in which he described Mr Orban as a “friend,” adding: “few people know as much about what is going on in the world today.”

Richard Hall with the full story.

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