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China halts military ties with US, sanctions against Pelosi over visit to Taiwan

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Taiwan’s Defense Ministry has neither confirmed nor denied that missiles have flown over Taiwan. If true, it would be the first time Chinese missiles have flown over the self-governing island.

The Ministry of Defense criticized the exercises as “highly provocative”.

“The Defense Ministry pointed out that the Chinese army’s military drills, whether firing ballistic missiles or intentionally crossing the strait center line, are highly provocative acts,” the military news agency reported on Friday, adding that the ministry said so committed, not to let the situation escalate.

Foreign Minister Antony Blinken on Friday also condemned China’s ongoing drills, calling them a “significant escalation”.

“China has chosen to overreact and use Speaker Pelosi’s visit as an excuse to ramp up provocative military activity in and around the Taiwan Straits,” Blinken said at a media briefing during a meeting with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in Cambodia

“There is no justification for this extreme, disproportionate and escalating military response.”

The exercises, which began on Thursday, are expected to continue through Sunday.

The Chinese Communist Party has never ruled Taiwan but claims it as its own territory. While Chinese President Xi Jinping sees Taiwan’s “reunification” with the mainland as an historic inevitability, recent opinion polls show that the majority of Taiwanese have no desire to become part of China, preferring instead to maintain the status quo.

China repeatedly warned the US about the visit, which “seriously violates China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.” The White House says the speaker’s visit is consistent with US policy towards Taiwan and should not be used to foment a crisis.

Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen on Thursday evening called on China to “act with reason and exercise restraint.” “We call on the international community to support democratic Taiwan and stop these unilateral, irrational military exercises,” she said, according to a statement on her official Facebook page.

Taiwan’s neighbors and US allies in the region have expressed growing concern over China’s aggressive stance.

Japan on Friday urged China to halt its drills immediately. “China’s actions this time have serious implications for the peace and stability of our region and the international community,” Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said.

Beijing defended the military drills, saying they were “consistent with international law and practice.”

“As for the ‘exclusive economic zone’ you mentioned, you should know, and the Japanese side should also know, that China and Japan have not yet demarcated the relevant waters, so there is no such thing as ‘Japan exclusive economic zone’.” Hua Chunying, a spokesman for China’s Foreign Ministry, said at a news conference.

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/china-halts-military-ties-us-sanctions-pelosi-taiwan-visit-rcna41682 China halts military ties with US, sanctions against Pelosi over visit to Taiwan

Fry Electronics Team

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