After US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan, China retaliated with military maneuvers including missile launches. Neighboring countries have all called for restraint.
Out of 5 Chinese ballistic missiles that “would have flown over the island of Taiwan”, 4 fell in the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of Japan”, the Japanese Ministry of Defense announced on Thursday.
A total of 11 ballistic missiles were fired, according to Washington and according to the Taiwanese defense minister, 22 Chinese fighter jets briefly entered the Taiwanese air defense zone on Thursday.
The Japanese ministry said it was a “serious issue that affects our national security and that of our citizens.” Japan immediately protested through diplomatic channels to China, said Japanese Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi, who called on China to “immediately” cease its military exercises.
“China’s actions this time have a serious impact on peace and stability in the region. I demand “the immediate cessation of these military maneuvers”, he declared.
These Chinese missiles fell into the Japanese sea, are part of large-scale military exercises conducted near the island of Taiwan. They were carried out the day after the visit to Taipei of the 3rd most important person on the political spectrum in the United States, after Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.
These events occurred while the foreign ministers of the ten ASEAN member countries were meeting for a summit. They warned in a statement against “any provocative act”, alerting to a situation which could lead to “a serious confrontation, open conflicts between the main powers and unforeseeable consequences”.
China, which considers Taiwan as one of its provinces, had strongly protested Nancy Pelosi’s idea of a trip to the island. That didn’t stop him from going Tuesday and Wednesday despite the warnings.
China considers the visit to Taiwan of the senior American official as support for the separatists. His arrival also contrasts with the promise of the United States not to have official relations with Taiwan.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Thursday that Washington had contacted Beijing “at all levels of government” in recent days to call for calm.
According to John Kirby, a spokesman for the White House, China “chose to overreact” by firing 11 ballistic missiles around Taiwan on Thursday, a military activity deemed “provocative”.
He added that the United States will continue to “monitor” around Taiwan via the USS Reagan aircraft carrier, and postpone a planned intercontinental missile test in the coming days to avoid further escalation of tensions.