Taiwan condemns ‘angry neighbor’ China after missiles fired during military exercises | World news

Taiwan’s prime minister has condemned China as the “bad neighbor next door” after the military began live fire drills around the island.

Su Tseng-chang told reporters in the capital Taipei that he believed China was arbitrarily destroying the Taiwan Strait – the world’s most used waterway – with its military exercises, and his actions were condemned by other neighboring countries and the rest of the world.

Newly appointed Taiwanese Prime Minister Su Tseng-chang speaks during a press conference at the presidential office in Taipei, Taiwan, Friday, January 11, 2019.
The Prime Minister of Taiwan, Su Tseng-chang. Photo: AP

Beijing admits that the shots were fired but that they were “precision missiles” as part of exercises by the navy, air force and other divisions in six zones around the island.

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Japan says it was forced to protest China after five of the missiles landed in the exclusive economic zone.

The exercises were motivated by: a visit to the island by Speaker of the United States House Nancy Pelosi this week, and are intended to showcase China’s response to moves by the self-governing island to cement its de facto independence from Chinese rule.

Taiwan has prepared its military and organized civilian defense exercises, while the US has numerous naval assets in the area.

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Missiles fired from China coast

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In a speech in Tokyo after her trip to Taiwan, Ms Pelosia said China would not isolate Taiwan by preventing U.S. officials from traveling there and that America’s commitment to democracy in Taiwan remains “iron strong”.

Her decision to become the top US politician to travel to Taiwan since the 1990s infuriated her China — and has also received some criticism closer to home. US President Joe Biden advised against her trip, while US allies in the Asia-Pacific region did not rush to praise her 24-hour flight visit as part of a regional tour.

While in Tokyo, Ms. Pelosi addressed the diplomatic storm caused by the five-member US Congress visit to Taipei.

US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi attends a press conference with US Ambassador to Japan Rahm Emanuel and US House Representatives Andy Kim (D-NJ), Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL), Gregory Meeks (D-NY) , Mark Takano (D-CA) and Suzan DelBene (D-WA), at the US Embassy in Tokyo, Japan, Aug. 5, 2022. REUTERS/Issei Kato
Nancy Pelosi and Congress Delegation Attend a Press Conference in Tokyo

“We have said from the beginning that our representation here is not about changing the status quo in Taiwan or the region,” she said.

A man stands in front of a screen showing a CCTV news broadcast showing a map of locations in Taiwan where the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) is said to hold military exercises and training activities, including live fire drills, at a shopping center in Beijing, China, 3 August 2022. REUTERS/Thomas Peter/File photo
A screen in a shopping center shows a news broadcast, showing locations in Taiwan where the Chinese People’s Liberation Army is conducting military exercises

Beijing has warned that the visit would undermine China-US relationsand the Foreign Ministry said it has seriously violated China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

In a statement released shortly after her arrival in Taipei, China’s foreign ministry said it had made a strong protest to the US.

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Taiwan, an island of 23 million people 112 miles off the coast of China, declares itself an independent, democratic country with its own leader, constitution, political system and military.

But with territorial claims to the island dating all the way back to AD 229, the Communist Party in Beijing sees it as a breakaway province from China that will eventually come back under its control—by force if necessary.

This is known as the One China principle – a diplomatic acknowledgment that Beijing is the only legitimate ruling power in China.

Technically, the US endorses one version of it – a One China policy – and therefore does not recognize Taiwan as an independent state, in line with the United Nations. But it still maintains unofficial ties and defends the island’s commitment to democracy.

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