China-Taiwan News LIVE Updates: China fired multiple missiles around Taiwan on Thursday as it launched unprecedented military exercises on the self-ruled island that Beijing considers its sovereign territory a day after a visit by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Pelosi’s visit has infuriated Pelosi ever since. This is the first time that missiles fly over Taiwan.
Meanwhile, Tokyo’s defense minister said ballistic missiles fired by China have landed for the first time in Japan’s exclusive economic zone. “Five of the nine ballistic missiles launched by China have reportedly landed within Japan’s EEZ,” Nobuo Kishi told reporters as China conducts massive military exercises in the waters around Taiwan.
Japan had “lodged a protest to China through diplomatic channels,” Kishi said, calling the case “a serious problem affecting our national security and the security of our citizens.” Parts of Okinawa, Japan’s southernmost island region, are close to Taiwan. Kishi said it was the first time Chinese ballistic missiles had landed in Japan’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ). The EEZ extends 200 nautical miles from Japan’s coastline, beyond the boundaries of territorial waters.
The figure of nine rockets fired was an estimate on the Japanese side, Kishi said.
On the other hand, the Kremlin said China had a sovereign right to conduct major military exercises around Taiwan and accused the US of artificially inflaming tensions in the region. Asked about China’s exercises, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said: “This is China’s sovereign right.” “The tension in the region and around Taiwan was caused by Nancy Pelosi’s visit,” Reuters news agency quoted Peskov as saying during a conference call. “It was an absolutely unnecessary visit and an unnecessary provocation.”
Pelosi left Taiwan on Wednesday after a visit of less than 24 hours that defied a series of increasingly grim threats from Beijing, which considers the island its territory.
Pelosi, second in line to the presidency, was the most prominent elected US official to visit Taiwan in 25 years. She said her presence made it “unequivocal” that the United States would “not abandon” a Democratic ally like Taiwan.
The Chinese military began military drills with live fire drills in the sea around Taiwan at noon (0400 GMT) on Thursday, state broadcaster CCTV said.
“A major military exercise of the People’s Liberation Army will take place from 12 noon today to Aug. 7, noon,” CCTV said in a social media post featuring a map of Taiwan.
Chinese forces in two areas off Taiwan’s north coast could potentially shut down Keelung, a major port, while attacks could be launched from an area east of Taiwan targeting military bases in Hualien and Taidong, Meng Xiangqing said. a professor at the National Defense University.
(with input from agencies)
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