BEIJING (AP) — Taiwan said on Saturday that China’s military exercises appeared to simulate an attack on an autonomous island, as multiple Chinese warships and aircraft crossed the central line of the Taiwan Strait.
Taiwan’s military has put the island on alert, sent air and sea patrols around the island, and activated land-based missile systems in response to China’s exercises, the defense ministry said.
China’s defense ministry said in a statement on Saturday that it had conducted military exercises as planned in the sea and airspace to the north, southwest and east of Taiwan, focusing on “testing the capabilities” of land and sea attacks. rice field. system.
China said it violated its “one China” policy by launching live-fire military exercises after Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan earlier this week. China views the island as a separate province to be annexed by force if necessary, and views any visit to Taiwan by a foreign official as an acknowledgment of its sovereignty.
Taiwan’s military also said it detected four unmanned aerial vehicles flying near the coast of Kinmen county on Friday night and fired warning flares in response.
According to Taiwan’s Kinmen Defense Command, four drones that Taiwan believed to be Chinese were spotted in the waters around the Kinmen island group and the nearby Lieru and Beiding islands.
Kinmen, also known as Kemoy, is a group of islands just 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) east of the Chinese coastal city of Xiamen in Fujian province on the Taiwan Strait, which was split into two sides in the 1949 civil war.
“The government and military are closely monitoring China’s military exercises and information warfare operations and stand ready to respond if necessary,” Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen said on Twitter.
“I call on the international community to support Taiwan’s democratization and stop the deterioration of the security situation in the region,” she added.
China’s military exercises are expected to begin Thursday and continue through Sunday. So far, the drills have included missile strikes on targets in the waters north and south of the island, and the last major strikes in 1995 and 1996 aimed at intimidating Taiwan’s leaders and voters. It reflects China’s extensive military training.
Taiwan has put its military on alert, conducted civil defense exercises, and the United States has deployed a number of naval assets to the region.
The Biden administration and Pelosi said the United States remains committed to the “One China” policy. The policy recognizes Beijing as the government of China, but allows for unofficial and defense ties with Taipei. The administration was discouraged, but did not prevent Pelosi’s visit.
China has also cut off defense and climate talks with the United States and imposed sanctions on Pelosi in retaliation for the visit.
Pelosi said on Friday in Tokyo, the final stop on her Asia trip, that China would not be able to isolate Taiwan by blocking US officials from going there.
Pelosi has long championed human rights in China. She, along with other lawmakers, traveled to Beijing’s Tiananmen Square in 1991 to support democracy.
Meanwhile, Taiwan’s Central News Agency said cyberattacks aimed at taking down Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs website doubled between Thursday and Friday compared to similar attacks before Pelosi’s visit. The ministry did not specify the source of the attacks.
Other ministries and government agencies, such as the Ministry of Home Affairs, also faced similar attacks on their websites, according to the report.
A distributed denial of service attack aims to overload a website with requests for information, eventually crashing the website and rendering it inaccessible to other users.
Also on Saturday, the Central News Agency reported that Ou Yang Li-hsing, deputy director of Taiwan’s defense ministry’s research and development department, was found dead in his hotel room after suffering a heart attack. By his 57th year, he had overseen several missile production projects.
According to reports, there were no signs of break-ins in the hotel room he was traveling to in southern Pingtung County.
An overwhelming majority of Taiwanese support maintaining the island’s status quo of de facto independence, rejecting China’s demands that the island reunite with the communist-controlled mainland.
Globally, most countries have agreed to the “One China” policy. This is a requirement to maintain diplomatic relations with Beijing.
Companies that do not recognize Taiwan as part of China often face quick backlash, with Chinese consumers pledging to boycott their products.
On Friday, Mars Wrigley, maker of Snickers candy bars, issued an apology after releasing videos and materials featuring South Korean boy band BTS, which called Taiwan a country, drawing swift criticism from Chinese users. rice field.
In a statement on its Weibo account, the company said it “deeply apologizes.”
“Mars Wrigley respects China’s national sovereignty and territorial integrity and operates in strict compliance with China’s local laws and regulations,” the statement said.
In a separate post, the company added, “There is only one China,” and that “Taiwan is an integral part of China’s territory.”
Taiwan says China military exercises seem to simulate attack
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