China and Taiwan play cat and mouse on the high seas as military exercises end

China and Taiwan play cat and mouse on the high seas as military exercises end

About 10 warships from China and Taiwan sailed closely through the Taiwan Strait

Taipei:

On Sunday, Chinese and Taiwanese warships played “cat and mouse” on the high seas ahead of the scheduled end of four days of unprecedented Chinese military exercises launched in response to a visit to Taiwan by the Speaker of the House of Commons. United States representatives.

Nancy Pelosi’s visit to the self-governing island last week infuriated China, which responded with test launches of ballistic missiles over the island’s capital for the first time and cutting off some communication links with the United States.

About 10 warships from China and Taiwan sailed closely through the Taiwan Strait, with some Chinese vessels crossing the median line, an unofficial buffer zone separating the two sides, according to a person familiar with the matter.

The island’s defense ministry said several Chinese military ships, planes and drones were simulating attacks on the island and its navy. He said he sent planes and ships to respond “appropriately”.

As Chinese forces “pressed” on the line, as they did on Saturday, the Taiwanese side remained close to monitor and, where possible, deny the Chinese the ability to cross, the person briefed said. of the situation which declined to be identified.

“Both sides are showing restraint,” the person said, calling the maneuvers a “cat and mouse” on the high seas.

“One side tries to cross, and the other stands in the way and forces them into a more disadvantaged position and ends up going back to the other side.”

Taiwan said its land-based anti-ship missiles and Patriot surface-to-air missiles were on standby.

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The Department of Defense said its F-16 jet fighters flew with advanced anti-aircraft missiles. He posted photographs of loaded Harpoon anti-ship weapons on another.

Taiwan said on Saturday its forces had dispatched jets to warn 20 Chinese planes, including 14 that had crossed the median line. It also detected 14 Chinese vessels operating around the Taiwan Strait.

Lifting restrictions

The Chinese drills, centered on six sites around the island that China claims to be its own, began on Thursday and were scheduled to last until noon on Sunday, the official Xinhua news agency reported last week.

China did not announce on Sunday whether the drills were ending and Taiwan said it was unable to verify whether China had stopped them.

Nevertheless, Taiwan’s transport ministry has gradually lifted restrictions on flights in its airspace, saying the notifications for the drills were no longer in effect.

But Taiwan would continue to keep flights and ships away from one of the drilling areas off its east coast until Monday morning, he said.

The Chinese military said the joint sea and air drills, north, southwest and east of Taiwan, focused on land strike and sea assault capabilities.

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The United States called the drills a significant escalation in China’s efforts to change the status quo.

“They are provocative, irresponsible and increase the risk of miscalculation,” a White House spokesperson said. “They are also at odds with our long-standing goal of maintaining peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait.”

“Political stunt”

China says its relations with Taiwan are an internal matter and reserves the right to bring the island under its control, by force if necessary. Taiwan rejects China’s claim that only the Taiwanese people can decide their future.

China warned the United States not to “act recklessly” and create a bigger crisis and the official Xinhua news agency said in a commentary that Pelosi staged a “political stunt” out of self-interest.

“Insisting on going to the island, she apparently doesn’t care about damaging China-US relations or putting peace across the Taiwan Strait at stake,” he said.

Taiwan’s foreign ministry condemned China’s ‘aggressive and provocative’ drills and urged it ‘to immediately end such tension-escalating behaviors that have endangered the common good of the region and the world’ “.

As part of its response to Pelosi’s visit, China cut off communication with the United States through various channels, including between military theater and climate change commands.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has accused China of taking “irresponsible” action and moving away from prioritizing peaceful resolution in favor of the use of force.[L4N2ZI0BZ]

Pelosi, a longtime China critic and political ally of President Joe Biden, arrived in Taiwan on Tuesday evening during the highest-level visit by a US official to the island in decades, despite Chinese warnings. She said her visit showed the United States’ unwavering commitment to supporting Taiwanese democracy.

“The world faces a choice between autocracy and democracy,” she said. She also stressed that her trip was “not aimed at changing the status quo in Taiwan or the region.”

Taiwan has been self-governing since 1949, when Mao Zedong’s Communists seized power in Beijing after defeating Chiang Kai-shek’s Kuomintang nationalists in a civil war, prompting their retreat to the island.

Speaking during a visit to the Philippines, Blinken said the United States had heard the concerns of its allies over what he called dangerous and destabilizing actions by China, but that Washington was seeking to avoid making the situation worse.

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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