Japanese Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi announced that Japan has lodged a protest against China. According to Kishi, the robots are seen as “serious threats to Japanese national security and the safety of the Japanese people.”
He added that the robots landed on Hatruma Island at the southern tip of Japan, relatively far from the larger Japanese islands.
The military exercises come in response to the visit of US Representative Nancy Pelosi, and were described as the largest ever in the region.
China views the island nation of Taiwan as its own, and has responded with anger and threats to the United States, a presence in the region, with Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan. The exercises, which began on Thursday, affect some of the world’s busiest shipping lanes.
“Six large areas around the island have been selected for these combat exercises, and during this period, ships and aircraft should not be in appropriate waters and airspace,” China’s official CCTV channel clarified.
‘Achieved her goals’
The Chinese military, the People’s Liberation Army, confirms the release of both long-range and conventional robots.
The statement reads “All robots hit their targets correctly”.
Taiwan’s Ministry of Defense said it tracked down the Chinese robots before 2 p.m. local time. A total of 11 Chinese missiles have been confirmed in the waters north, east and south of Taiwan.
Also on the islands of Matsu, Wuzhou and Dongen, long-range robots and other types of weapons were tracked.
Taiwan previously said it was closely monitoring the situation, without escalating the situation. The Defense Ministry said China’s “irrational behavior” was disrupting peace and stability in the region.
Meanwhile, Taiwan suspended at least 40 flights to and from Taiwan on Thursday, the China Times reported, according to the Associated Press.
According to the newspaper, Taipei Airport is said to have said the canceled flights are “not necessarily” related to Chinese military exercises.
The European Union’s foreign affairs chief, Josep Borrell, condemned the Beijing regime’s decision to hold the exercises.
“There is no justification for using the visit as a pretext for aggressive military activity in the Taiwan Strait. It is normal and routine for lawmakers from our two countries to make international trips.” Borrell writes on Twitter.
Borrell is visiting Cambodia for a meeting with the ASEAN Cooperation Organization as well as the foreign ministers of China and the United States, Wang Yi and Anthony Blinken respectively.
I really hope that Beijing does not create a crisis or look for a reason to increase its military aggression, says Blinken.
The ministerial meeting issued a statement warning that the situation could lead to “miscalculations, dangerous confrontation, open conflict and unpredictable consequences between major powers”.
Nor does NATO President Jens Stoltenberg believe that Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan gives China reason to overreact.
The United States has made it clear that it will not change its policy toward Taiwan. According to NTB, it is not news that high-ranking officials from the United States and NATO allies are visiting Taiwan.
Pelosi, the speaker of the US House of Representatives, continued her trips from Taiwan to South Korea. According to South Korean media, she was able to visit the demilitarized zone between the northern and southern parts of the Korean Peninsula.
At a press conference in Seoul, Pelosi praised the “special relationship” and “warm friendship” between South Korea and the United States, without referring to a visit to Taiwan.
Pelosi’s last stop on the Asia trip was Japan, where she landed at Yokota Air Force Base. The agenda includes a meeting with Prime Minister Fumio Kishida.
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