NewsChina launches missiles in Taiwan Strait

China launches missiles in Taiwan Strait

China fired ballistic missiles and deployed warplanes and warships around Taiwan on the first day of its biggest military exercises against the island in decades.

Despite warnings from Beijing, which considers Taiwan to be part of its territory, Pelosi, second in the line of presidential succession, made a lightning visit to Taipei, in which she assured that the United States “will not abandon” Taiwan.

China ‘s government viewed the US lawmaker’s initiative as a provocation and vowed to punish those who offended her, announcing military exercises in the waters around Taiwan, which include some of the world’s busiest shipping lanes.

The drills, which began Thursday at noon, included “conventional missile fire” into the waters off Taiwan’s eastern shores, said Shi Yi, a spokesman for the Chinese military.

“All the missiles hit the target accurately,” Colonel Shi added.

For its part, the Taiwanese Ministry of Defense confirmed that the Chinese army had fired “11 Dongfeng-type ballistic missiles” “between 1:56 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. in the waters north, south and east of Taiwan.”

They are “irrational actions that undermine regional peace,” condemned the ministry, which did not specify whether the projectiles flew over the island. The Chinese military exercises are due to conclude on Sunday.

The Chinese media Global Times , citing military analysts, asserted that these operations are of an “unprecedented” scale since the missiles will fly over Taiwan for the first time.

Beijing defended the exercises, as well as other maneuvers in recent days, as “just and necessary” and blamed the United States and its allies for the escalation.

“In the current fight over Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan, the United States is the provocateur and China is the victim,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said.

In addition, a Chinese military source assured the AFP news agency that the exercises are carried out “in preparation for real combat” .

“If Taiwanese forces come into contact with the PLA (People’s Liberation Army) and accidentally fire a weapon, the PLA will take severe action and all consequences will be on the Taiwanese side,” the Chinese Armed Forces added.

Chinese ballistic missiles may have landed in Japan’s exclusive economic zone for the first time, Japanese Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi said on Thursday.

“We believe that five of the nine ballistic missiles launched by China fell in Japan’s EEZ,” the minister told reporters.

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