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China simulates Taiwan attack, retaliation for Pelosi stop continues

China simulates Taiwan attack, retaliation for Pelosi stop continues

The Chinese military rehearsed an attack on Taiwan on Saturday as tensions continued to mount after a visit to the island by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi earlier this week.

The live fire drills by Chinese planes and warships, which began Thursday, are expected to continue through Sunday.

Taiwan’s Defense Ministry discovered “several batches of communist aircraft and ships conducting operations around the Taiwan Strait, some of which crossed the median line,” the South China Morning Post reported. The center line is an unofficial division between the two sides.

The Ministry of Defense published a photo of a Taiwanese sailor on a frigate looking at a nearby Chinese warship off the east coast of Taiwan. “Definitely not photoshopped!” the caption reads.

A Chinese J-11 military fighter jet flies over the Taiwan Strait near Pingtan.
AP

Beijing also cut communications while conducting the exercises, including military-to-military channels that Secretary of State Antony Blinken called “vital to prevent miscommunication and avoid crisis.”

Blinken spoke to Philippines, where he met new president Ferdinand Marcos Jr. met.

“What happens to the Taiwan Strait has implications for the entire region. In many ways it affects the whole world because the Strait, like the South China Sea, is a critical waterway,” he said.

Taiwanese Foreign Minister Joseph Wu poses in a group photo with Nancy Pelosi.
Taiwanese Foreign Minister Joseph Wu poses in a group photo with Nancy Pelosi.
VIA REUTERS

Nearly half of the world’s container fleet and nearly 90% of the world’s largest ships navigate the waterway, he said.

China should not suspend talks and other cooperation on important global issues, including climate, cross-border crime and counter-narcotics during Pelosi’s visit, Blinken added.

“We are not allowed to co-operate with hostages in matters of global importance because of differences between our two countries,” Blinken said. “Others rightly expect us to continue working on issues that matter to the lives and livelihoods of their people and ours.”

Taiwanese F-16 Fighting Falcon lands at Hualien Air Force Base on Saturday.
Taiwanese F-16 Fighting Falcon lands at Hualien Air Force Base on Saturday.
Getty Images

The US does not want to let the situation escalate, Blinken told his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi on Friday. The two met in Cambodia at an annual meeting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

“We are trying to de-escalate those tensions and we think dialogues are a very important part of that,” Blinken said, adding that the US would “keep our channels of communication with China open with the intent of avoiding escalation of misunderstanding or miscommunication. “

Separately, the deputy head of the research and development unit of the Taiwan Ministry of Defense was found dead in a hotel room in southern Taiwan’s Pingtung, where he was on a business trip. The Guardian reported that Ou Yang Li-hsing, 57, died of a heart attack.

Taiwanese F-5 fighter jets are seen taking off from Chihhang Air Force Base.
Taiwanese F-5 fighter jets are seen taking off from Chihhang Air Force Base.
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