BEIJING (AP) — Taiwan said on Saturday that China’s military drills appeared to mimic an attack on the self-ruled island, after several Chinese warships and aircraft crossed the middle line of the Taiwan Strait, the US House of Representatives said. After House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taipei angered Beijing. .
Taiwan’s armed forces issued an alert, sent air and naval patrols around the island, and activated land-based missile systems in response to Chinese exercises, the Ministry of National Defense said.
China’s Defense Ministry said in a statement on Saturday that it had conducted planned military drills in the maritime and airspace north, southwest and east of Taiwan, “testing the capabilities” of land attack and sea attack. ” is focused on. system
China launched live-fire military exercises after Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan earlier this week, saying it violated the “one China” policy. China views the island as a breakaway province that will be annexed by force if necessary, and sees visits to Taiwan by foreign officials as recognition of its sovereignty.
Taiwan’s military also said it detected four unmanned aerial vehicles flying around the offshore county of Kinmen on Friday night and fired warning flares in response.
According to Taiwan’s Kinmen Defense Command, four drones, which Taiwan believed to be Chinese, were spotted over the waters around the Kinmen island group and nearby Liuyu Island and Beding Island.
Kinmen, also known as Quemoy, is a group of islands in the Taiwan Strait just 10 kilometers (6.2 mi) east of the Chinese coastal city of Xiamen in Fujian Province, divided between the two sides during the 1949 Civil War. divides
“Our government and military are closely monitoring China’s military exercises and information warfare operations, ready to respond as needed,” Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen said in a tweet.
“I call on the international community to support democratic Taiwan and prevent any escalation of the regional security situation,” she added.
Chinese military exercises began on Thursday and are expected to continue until Sunday. The drills so far have included missile strikes on targets in seas north and south of the island, echoing the last major Chinese military drills in 1995 and 1996, aimed at intimidating Taiwan’s leaders and voters.
Taiwan has put its military on alert and conducted civil defense exercises, while the US has deployed several naval assets to the region.
The Biden administration and Pelosi have said the U.S. is committed to a “one China” policy, which recognizes Beijing as the government of China but allows informal ties and defense ties with Taipei. The administration discouraged but did not stop Pelosi from coming.
China has also cut defense and climate talks with the US and imposed sanctions on Pelosi in exchange for the visit.
China will not be able to isolate Taiwan by preventing US officials from traveling there, Pelosi said on Friday in Tokyo, the last stop of her Asia tour.
Pelosi has long been a champion of human rights in China. He visited Beijing’s Tiananmen Square in 1991 with other lawmakers to show support for democracy two years after a bloody military crackdown on protesters in the square.
Meanwhile, cyber attacks to bring down Taiwan’s foreign ministry website doubled between Thursday and Friday compared to similar attacks before Pelosi’s visit, according to Taiwan’s Central News Agency. The ministry did not reveal the origin of the attack.
According to the report, other ministries and government agencies, such as the Ministry of Interior, also faced similar attacks on their websites.
A distributed-denial-of-service attack aims to overload a website with requests for information that eventually crashes it and makes it inaccessible to other users.
Also on Saturday, the Central News Agency reported that Ou Yang Li Hsing, deputy head of Taiwan’s defense ministry’s research and development unit, was found dead in his hotel room after suffering a heart attack. He was 57 years old and had overseen several missile projects.
His hotel room in the southern county of Pingtung, where he was on a business trip, showed no signs of intrusion, the report said.
Taiwanese favor maintaining the island’s de facto independence status quo and reject Chinese demands that the island be united with the communist-controlled mainland.
Globally, most countries subscribe to the “One China” policy, which requires maintaining diplomatic relations with Beijing.
Any company that fails to recognize Taiwan as part of China often faces an immediate backlash, often with Chinese consumers pledging to boycott its products.
On Friday, Mars Wrigley, the maker of Snickers candy bars, apologized after releasing a video and content featuring South Korean boy band BTS that referred to Taiwan as a country. , which was heavily criticized by Chinese consumers.
In a statement on its Weibo account, the company expressed “deep apologies”.
Mars Wrigley respects China’s national sovereignty and territorial integrity and conducts business operations in strict compliance with local Chinese laws and regulations, the statement said.
In a separate post, the firm added that “there is only one China” and said that “Taiwan is an inalienable part of the Chinese mainland.”