China to begin second day of military drills around Taiwan as US warns mistakes could lead to conflict – live

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The United States has condemned China’s launch of 11 ballistic missiles around Taiwan during major military drills as an overreaction to Nancy Pelosi’s visit to the island, urging Beijing to reduce tensions.

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White House spokesperson John Kirby said:

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China has chosen to overreact and use the speaker’s visit as a pretext to increase provocative military activity in and around the Taiwan strait.

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The temperature’s pretty high,” but tensions “can come down very easily by just having the Chinese stop these very aggressive military drills,” he added.

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In an interview with MSNBC on Thursday, Kirby said: “We’ve been watching this very, very closely.”

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When asked whether Pelosi’s trip triggered China’s military drills, Kirby said:

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The provocateur here is Beijing. They didn’t have to react this way to what is completely normal travel by congressional members to Taiwan… The Chinese are the ones who are escalating this.”

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He also warned the risk of calculation of the drills, saying, “One of the things that’s troublesome about exercises like this or missile launches like this is the risk of calculation, the risk of a mistake that could actually lead to some sort of conflict.”

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US secretary of state Antony Blinken said Washington had contacted Beijing “at every level of government” in recent days to call for calm and stability.

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I hope very much that Beijing will not manufacture a crisis or seek a pretext to increase its aggressive military activity,” Blinken told ministers from the 10-member Association of South-east Asian Nations (Asean) in Phnom Penh.

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Japan’s prime minister has condemned China’s firing of ballistic missiles during military drills around Taiwan, calling them a “serious problem that impacts our national security and the safety of our citizens”.

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Five Chinese missiles appear to have fallen in the country’s exclusive economic zone, Tokyo has said, with four of those believed to have flown over Taiwan’s main island.

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Prime Minister Fumio Kishida told reporters after meeting US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi this morning:

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China’s actions this time around have a serious impact on the peace and stability of our region and the international community.

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I told her that we have called for the immediate cancellation of the military drills.”

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Pelosi is in Tokyo for the final leg of an Asian tour that included a stop in Taiwan, infuriating Beijing, which has launched its largest-ever military drills around the self-ruled island in response.

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Tokyo has lodged a diplomatic protest with Beijing over the military exercises, which began on Thursday.

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Parts of Japan’s southernmost Okinawa region are close to Taiwan, as are islets at the centre of a long-running dispute between Tokyo and Beijing.

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Japan’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ) extends up to 200 nautical miles from its coastline, beyond the limits of its territorial waters.

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Hello and welcome back to the Guardian’s live coverage of tensions between China and Taiwan.

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I’m Samantha Lock and I will be bringing you all the latest developments.

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It is 9am in Beijing. Here is everything you might have missed:

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    \n

  • China is to begin its second day of unprecedented live-fire drills after launching huge military exercises in the air and seas around Taiwan on Thursday, including firing ballistic missiles close to the island some of which landed in Japanese waters.
  • \n

  • The exercises, which included rockets, attack helicopters and gunships, were arranged in reaction to a defiant visit to the island by the US House speaker, Nancy Pelosi, on Wednesday.
  • \n

  • The US condemned the missile launches. “China has chosen to overreact and use the speaker’s visit as a pretext to increase provocative military activity in and around the Taiwan Strait,” White House spokesman John Kirby said.
  • \n

  • Kirby also warned of the risk of a mistake and calculation of the drills, saying, “One of the things that’s troublesome about exercises like this or missile launches like this is the risk of calculation, the risk of a mistake that could actually lead to some sort of conflict.”
  • \n

  • US secretary of state Antony Blinken said he “hopes very much that Beijing will not manufacture a crisis or seek a pretence to increase its aggressive military action”.
  • \n

  • Foreign ministers from the 10-member Asean bloc, meeting in Cambodia this week, called for “maximum restraint”, without mentioning the US or China by name. In a statement it said the situation could lead to “serious confrontation, open conflicts and unpredictable consequences among major powers”.
  • \n

  • Japan said at least five of the 11 Dongfeng ballistic missiles fell into its exclusive economic zone, which extends 200 nautical miles (370km) from Japan’s coast.
  • \n

  • Japan also speculated that four missiles flew over Taipei, Taiwan’s capital city, according to a statement issued by its US embassy.
  • \n

  • Taiwan’s defence ministry said the missiles flew high into the atmosphere and constituted no threat to the island.
  • \n

  • Taiwan’s leader, Tsai Ing-wen, urged Beijing to “act with reason and exercise restraint” while maintaining Taiwan would not escalate conflict but would “resolutely defend our sovereignty, our security &amp; our democracy”.
  • \n

  • Foreign governments and multilateral groups including the G7 and the Association of South-east Asian Nations (Asean) condemned the hostilities and called for calm.
  • \n

  • The drills were in unprecedented proximity to Taiwan, and included PLA warplane and navy vessel incursions over the median line of the Taiwan strait – an unofficial border between China and Taiwan.
  • \n

  • Notices of the exercises identified six areas encircling Taiwan, with warnings for all ships and aircraft to “not enter the relevant sea areas and airspace”. On Thursday, local media reported the last-minute announcement of a seventh. Some of the zones overlap with Taiwan’s territorial waters, and are near key shipping ports.
  • \n

  • Several cyber-attacks also struck Taiwan, targeting websites of the defence ministry, the foreign ministry and the presidential office.
  • \n

  • Beijing’s Taiwan affairs office said the dispute was an internal affair. “Our punishment of pro-Taiwan independence diehards, external forces, is reasonable, lawful,” it said.
  • \n

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Key events

US warns mistakes could lead to conflict

The United States has condemned China’s launch of 11 ballistic missiles around Taiwan during major military drills as an overreaction to Nancy Pelosi’s visit to the island, urging Beijing to reduce tensions.

White House spokesperson John Kirby said:

China has chosen to overreact and use the speaker’s visit as a pretext to increase provocative military activity in and around the Taiwan strait.

The temperature’s pretty high,” but tensions “can come down very easily by just having the Chinese stop these very aggressive military drills,” he added.

In an interview with MSNBC on Thursday, Kirby said: “We’ve been watching this very, very closely.”

When asked whether Pelosi’s trip triggered China’s military drills, Kirby said:

The provocateur here is Beijing. They didn’t have to react this way to what is completely normal travel by congressional members to Taiwan… The Chinese are the ones who are escalating this.”

He also warned the risk of calculation of the drills, saying, “One of the things that’s troublesome about exercises like this or missile launches like this is the risk of calculation, the risk of a mistake that could actually lead to some sort of conflict.”

US secretary of state Antony Blinken said Washington had contacted Beijing “at every level of government” in recent days to call for calm and stability.

I hope very much that Beijing will not manufacture a crisis or seek a pretext to increase its aggressive military activity,” Blinken told ministers from the 10-member Association of South-east Asian Nations (Asean) in Phnom Penh.

Chinese missiles ‘impacts our national security’: Japan PM

Japan’s prime minister has condemned China’s firing of ballistic missiles during military drills around Taiwan, calling them a “serious problem that impacts our national security and the safety of our citizens”.

Five Chinese missiles appear to have fallen in the country’s exclusive economic zone, Tokyo has said, with four of those believed to have flown over Taiwan’s main island.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida told reporters after meeting US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi this morning:

China’s actions this time around have a serious impact on the peace and stability of our region and the international community.

I told her that we have called for the immediate cancellation of the military drills.”

Pelosi is in Tokyo for the final leg of an Asian tour that included a stop in Taiwan, infuriating Beijing, which has launched its largest-ever military drills around the self-ruled island in response.

Tokyo has lodged a diplomatic protest with Beijing over the military exercises, which began on Thursday.

Parts of Japan’s southernmost Okinawa region are close to Taiwan, as are islets at the centre of a long-running dispute between Tokyo and Beijing.

Japan’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ) extends up to 200 nautical miles from its coastline, beyond the limits of its territorial waters.

Summary and welcome

Hello and welcome back to the Guardian’s live coverage of tensions between China and Taiwan.

I’m Samantha Lock and I will be bringing you all the latest developments.

It is 9am in Beijing. Here is everything you might have missed:

  • China is to begin its second day of unprecedented live-fire drills after launching huge military exercises in the air and seas around Taiwan on Thursday, including firing ballistic missiles close to the island some of which landed in Japanese waters.
  • The exercises, which included rockets, attack helicopters and gunships, were arranged in reaction to a defiant visit to the island by the US House speaker, Nancy Pelosi, on Wednesday.
  • The US condemned the missile launches. “China has chosen to overreact and use the speaker’s visit as a pretext to increase provocative military activity in and around the Taiwan Strait,” White House spokesman John Kirby said.
  • Kirby also warned of the risk of a mistake and calculation of the drills, saying, “One of the things that’s troublesome about exercises like this or missile launches like this is the risk of calculation, the risk of a mistake that could actually lead to some sort of conflict.”
  • US secretary of state Antony Blinken said he “hopes very much that Beijing will not manufacture a crisis or seek a pretence to increase its aggressive military action”.
  • Foreign ministers from the 10-member Asean bloc, meeting in Cambodia this week, called for “maximum restraint”, without mentioning the US or China by name. In a statement it said the situation could lead to “serious confrontation, open conflicts and unpredictable consequences among major powers”.
  • Japan said at least five of the 11 Dongfeng ballistic missiles fell into its exclusive economic zone, which extends 200 nautical miles (370km) from Japan’s coast.
  • Japan also speculated that four missiles flew over Taipei, Taiwan’s capital city, according to a statement issued by its US embassy.
  • Taiwan’s defence ministry said the missiles flew high into the atmosphere and constituted no threat to the island.
  • Taiwan’s leader, Tsai Ing-wen, urged Beijing to “act with reason and exercise restraint” while maintaining Taiwan would not escalate conflict but would “resolutely defend our sovereignty, our security & our democracy”.
  • Foreign governments and multilateral groups including the G7 and the Association of South-east Asian Nations (Asean) condemned the hostilities and called for calm.
  • The drills were in unprecedented proximity to Taiwan, and included PLA warplane and navy vessel incursions over the median line of the Taiwan strait – an unofficial border between China and Taiwan.
  • Notices of the exercises identified six areas encircling Taiwan, with warnings for all ships and aircraft to “not enter the relevant sea areas and airspace”. On Thursday, local media reported the last-minute announcement of a seventh. Some of the zones overlap with Taiwan’s territorial waters, and are near key shipping ports.
  • Several cyber-attacks also struck Taiwan, targeting websites of the defence ministry, the foreign ministry and the presidential office.
  • Beijing’s Taiwan affairs office said the dispute was an internal affair. “Our punishment of pro-Taiwan independence diehards, external forces, is reasonable, lawful,” it said.
China is to begin its second day of unprecedented live-fire drills
China is to begin its second day of unprecedented live-fire drills

The Guardian

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