/ Asia / Pacific Issued on: 03/08/2022 – 17:03Modified: 03/08/2022 – 17:09
A man watches a CCTV news broadcast in Beijing, China, showing a fighter jet as military operations are launched near Taiwan by the Chinese People’s Liberation Army’s (PLA) Eastern Theatre Command, on August 3, 2022. © Thomas Peter, Reuters Taiwan’s defence ministry said Wednesday that 27 Chinese warplanes had entered Taiwan’s air defence zone, hours after US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi made a controversial visit to the island, which Beijing considers part of Chinese territory.
China demonstrated its outrage over the highest-level U.S. visit to the island in 25 years by U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi with a burst of military drills around Taiwan, summoning the American ambassador in Beijing and halting several agricultural imports from the island.
In the latest uptick in tensions across the sensitive Taiwan Strait, Taiwan said it dispatched aircraft and deployed missile systems to “monitor” the Chinese activities into its air defence identification zone, or ADIZ.
Taiwan, which China claims as its own territory, has complained in recent years of repeated missions by the Chinese air force near the democratically governed island, often in the southwestern part of ADIZ.
The latest Chinese mission included 16 Chinese Su-30 fighters and 11 other jets, Taiwan’s defence ministry said.
This infographic map shows the areas where China is conducting military drills around Taiwan. © France 24 infographic A source familiar with Taiwan’s security planning told Reuters that the 22 jets that crossed the median line did not fly too far into the unofficial buffer from the Chinese side.
Neither side’s aircraft normally cross the median line.
Earlier on Wednesday, Taiwan said some of China’s planned military exercises this week were to take place within Taiwan’s 12 nautical mile sea and air territory, an unprecedented move a senior defence official described as “amounting to a sea and air blockade of Taiwan”.
China has ramped up military and political pressure to try and force the island to accept Chinese rule. Taiwan rejects China’s claims to the island and vows to defend itself.
A man watches a CCTV news broadcast in Beijing, China, showing a fighter jet as military operations are launched near Taiwan by the Chinese People’s Liberation Army’s (PLA) Eastern Theatre Command, on August 3, 2022. © Thomas Peter, Reuters Foreign leaders condemn military activityThe foreign ministers of the Group of Seven (G7) nations called on China on Wednesday to resolve tension around the Taiwan Strait in a peaceful manner, following the burst of military activity in waters surrounding Taiwan.
“There is no justification to use a visit as pretext for aggressive military activity in the Taiwan Strait. It is normal and routine for legislators from our countries to travel internationally,” the G7 foreign ministers said in a statement released in Germany.
They added that China’s escalatory response risked increasing tensions and destabilising the region.
Pelosi echoed these sentiments in a statement she released on Wednesday after concluding her visit to the self-governed island.
“Sadly, Taiwan has been prevented from participating in global meetings, most recently the World Health Organization, because of objections by the Chinese Communist Party,” Pelosi said.
“While they may prevent Taiwan from sending its leaders to global forums, they cannot prevent world leaders or anyone from traveling to Taiwan to pay respect to its flourishing Democracy, to highlight its many successes and to reaffirm our commitment to continued collaboration.”
(FRANCE 24 with REUTERS)