August 8, 2022

BEIJING (Associated Press) – China said it has summoned European diplomats in the country to protest statements from the Group of Seven and the European Union criticizing the threat of Chinese military exercises. surrounding Taiwan.

On Friday, the Foreign Ministry said Vice Minister Deng Li had lodged “official protests” over what he called “brutal interference in China’s internal affairs.”

China sent warships and warplanes and fired missiles into the Taiwan Strait in response to a visit by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to Taiwan this week.China considers its territory to be annexed by force if necessary.

On the Chinese coast across from Taiwan, tourists gathered on Friday to try to catch a glimpse of any military aircraft heading toward the exercise area. Fighter planes could be heard flying overhead, and the tourists who took pictures chanted, “Let’s go back to Taiwan again,” looking out at the blue waters of the Taiwan Strait from Pingtan Island, a famous scenic spot.

Taiwan’s Defense Ministry said on Friday morning that China sent military ships and warplanes across the middle line of the Taiwan Strait, bypassing the decades-old unofficial buffer zone between China and Taiwan.

Japanese Defense Minister Nobu Kiichi said five of the missiles launched by China landed in Japan’s exclusive economic zone off the southernmost island of Hatruma, Japan’s main islands. He said Japan has protested the missile landings in China, describing them as “serious threats to Japan’s national security and the safety of the Japanese people.”

Japan’s Defense Ministry later said it believed the other four missiles, launched from China’s southeastern Fujian coast, had flown over Taiwan.

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said on Friday that Chinese military exercises targeting Taiwan pose a “serious problem” that threatens regional peace and security.

In Tokyo, where Pelosi is concluding her Asian tripShe said China could not prevent US officials from visiting Taiwan. Speaking after breakfast with Pelosi and her congressional delegation, Kishida said the missile launches should be “stopped immediately.”

China will “prevent the country from dividing with the strongest determination, by all means and at any cost,” Ding said.

“Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan is a flagrant political manipulation and a flagrant and serious violation of China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity,” Ding said. “In response to the US-Taiwan collusion and provocation, the Chinese counterattack is normal.”

The Chinese Foreign Ministry said the meeting took place on Thursday evening, but it did not give any information about the countries that participated. Earlier on Thursday, China canceled the foreign ministers meeting With Japan to protest the G7 statement that there is no justification for the exercises.

The two ministers are attending a meeting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in Cambodia.

China had earlier summoned US Ambassador Nicholas Burns to protest Pelosi’s visit. The spokesman left Taiwan on Wednesday after meeting President Tsai Ing-wen and hold other public events. I traveled to South Korea and then Japan. Both countries host US military bases and could be drawn into a conflict involving Taiwan.

The Chinese exercise includes forces from the navy, air force, missile force, strategic support force and logistics support force, according to the official Xinhua News Agency.

It is believed to be the largest to be held geographically close to Taiwan, with Beijing declaring six training areas surrounding the island.

US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken addressed the exercises on Thursday, saying: “I very much hope that Beijing does not create a crisis or look for a pretext to increase its aggressive military activity. We countries around the world believe that escalation does not serve anyone and could have unintended consequences that do not serve the interests of anyone. one”.

US law requires the government to treat threats to Taiwan, including blockades, as “extremely troubling” matters.

The exercises are scheduled to run from Thursday to Sunday and include missile strikes on targets in the seas north and south of the island, in a repeat of the last major Chinese military exercises aimed at intimidating Taiwan’s leaders and voters that took place in 1995 and 1996.

Taiwan put its military on high alert and conducted civil defense exercises, but the mood remained calm on Friday. Flights have been canceled Or it was diverted and the fishermen stayed in port to avoid Chinese exercises.

In the northern port of Keelung, Lu Chuan Hsiung, 63, was enjoying a morning swim on Thursday, saying he wasn’t worried.

“Everyone should want money, not bullets,” Lu said.

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