A man watches a news broadcast, showing joint military operations near Taiwan by the Chinese People's Liberation Army's (PLA), in Beijing
A man watches a CCTV news broadcast, showing a fighter jet during joint military operations near Taiwan by the Chinese People's Liberation Army's (PLA) Eastern Theatre Command, at a shopping center in Beijing, China, August 3, 2022. REUTERS/Thomas Peter Photo: Reuters/THOMAS PETER
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Suspected drones over Taiwan, cyber attacks after Pelosi visit

10 Comments
By Yimou Lee

Suspected drones flew over outlying Taiwanese islands and hackers attacked its defence ministry website, authorities in Taipei said on Thursday, a day after a visit by U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi that outraged China.

China was to begin a series of military exercises around Taiwan on Thursday in response to Pelosi's visit, some of which were to take place within the island's 12-nautical-mile sea and air territory, according to the defence ministry in Taipei.

That has never happened before and a senior ministry official described the potential move as "amounting to a sea and air blockade of Taiwan".

China, which claims Taiwan as its own territory, said on Thursday its differences with the self-ruled island were an internal affair.

"Our punishment of pro-Taiwan independence diehards, external forces is reasonable, lawful," China's Taiwan Affairs Office said.

China's Xinhua news agency has said the exercises, involving live fire drills, will take place in six areas which ring Taiwan and will begin at 0400 GMT.

On Wednesday night, just hours after Pelosi left for South Korea, unidentified aircraft, probably drones, had flown above the area of the Kinmen islands, Taiwan's defence ministry said.

Major General Chang Zone-sung of the army's Kinmen Defense Command told Reuters that the drones came in a pair and flew into the Kinmen area twice on Wednesday night, at around 9 p.m. (1300 GMT). and 10 p.m.

"We immediately fired flares to issue warnings and to drive them away. After that, they turned around. They came into our restricted area and that's why we dispersed them," he said.

The heavily fortified Kinmen islands are just off the southeastern coast of China, near the city of Xiamen.

The defence ministry also said its website suffered cyber attacks and went offline temporarily late on Wednesday night, adding it was working closely with other authorities to enhance cyber security as tensions with China rise.

Pelosi, the highest-level U.S. visitor to Taiwan in 25 years, praised its democracy and pledged American solidarity during her brief stopover, adding that Chinese anger could not stop world leaders from travelling there.

China summoned the U.S. ambassador in Beijing and halted several agricultural imports from Taiwan.

Security in the area around the U.S. Embassy in Beijing remained unusually tight on Thursday as it has been throughout this week.

Although Chinese social media users have vented fury on Pelosi, there were no signs of significant protests or calls to boycott U.S. products.

'WILL NOT ABANDON TAIWAN'

Taiwan scrambled jets on Wednesday to warn away 27 Chinese aircraft in its air defence zone, the island's defence ministry said, adding that 22 of them crossed the median line separating the island from China.

Pelosi arrived with a congressional delegation on her unannounced but closely watched visit late on Tuesday, defying China's repeated warnings and amid sharply deteriorating U.S.-Chinese relations.

"Our delegation came to Taiwan to make unequivocally clear that we will not abandon Taiwan," Pelosi told Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen, who Beijing suspects of pushing for formal independence - a red line for China.

"Now, more than ever, America's solidarity with Taiwan is crucial, and that's the message we are bringing here today."

China considers Taiwan part of its territory and has never renounced using force to bring it under its control. The United States and the foreign ministers of the Group of Seven nations warned China against using the visit as a pretext for military action against Taiwan.

"Sadly, Taiwan has been prevented from participating in global meetings, most recently the World Health Organization, because of objections by the Chinese Communist Party," Pelosi said in statement issued after her departure.

"While they may prevent Taiwan from sending its leaders to global forums, they cannot prevent world leaders or anyone from travelling to Taiwan to pay respect to its flourishing democracy, to highlight its many successes and to reaffirm our commitment to continued collaboration," Pelosi added.

© (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2022.

©2022 GPlusMedia Inc.


10 Comments
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CCP must be happy to have a chance to distract it's people from the real estate crisis.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Big trouble in Little China,if this get out of control, Pelosi may be removed as speaker,her support is really shaky among members,who open rebel against her ,it not that she is not doing enough,the party want a more progressive path

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

What did this visit achieve? Was it worth the possibility of starting WW3?

0 ( +3 / -3 )

What did this visit achieve?

That control is an illusion and that the CCP needs to learn this.

Every month, different leaders of the world should visit Taiwan. Keep doing that over and over and over until the CCP gets the message. Freedom.

Taiwan should apply to join the UN. Let's get this started. Make America decide. Either it supports democracies or it doesn't.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

And this is just the beggining, world will see it..

Taiwan should apply to join the UN.

UN supports ONE CHINA policy..

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Although Chinese social media users have vented fury on Pelosi, there were no signs of significant protests or calls to boycott U.S. products

The CCP is writing checks on its own young population, much like Singapore did many moons ago with its totalitarian rule, ie you can have an opinion as long as it matches that of LKY. The CCP is damaging their young psychologically so the outlook is not great for China is a few years.

When you look at the antics of CCP officials like Wang Yi (who btw walked out of an ASEAN dinner just before it started just yesterday) and Zhao Lijian who attends press conferences with doctored images and barfs like wild wolfs just goes to show how damaged they are. They even think their hyper sensitivity is 'normal'.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The Whitehouse has no bearing on Pelosi , Pelosi serve nothing in Biden , Administration the Democrats house caucus, determine the fate of the speaker,she serve at the will of the Caucus Google AOC Pelosi

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Any military action would not be related to Pelosi or Taiwanese politics.

Beijing has bigger problems. The property sector is teetering (property is the primary asset of most Chinese) and could take local banks down with it. That would destabilise Chinese society. Covid Zero may also have caused some form of factional split in the CCP as it is causing seismic damage to the Chinese economy and replacing default loyalty with rebelliousness. Xi's reversion to Communist purity will not be everyone's cup of tea in the CCP high command.

For these reasons a limited conflict would be an option - all nationalist regimes use wars as distractions from severe economic destabilisation. It's a risk though, as they can only juggle so many plates, the US have better military toys and Russia won't help. China will happily play the long game with Taiwan, however annoyed they are at this sort of thing. It may even have helped Beijing, as Pelosi's visit keeps Chinese social media buzzing in a nationalist fervour, away from domestic issues, which are getting serious.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

The Whitehouse has no bearing on Pelosi

Look at the committees she is on. If the Whitehouse operates without consulting any of these committees, then USA is in a lot worse shape than anyone can imagine.

https://history.house.gov/People/Detail/19519

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The Chinese are using this to get good deployment practice for the future, Thanks Nancy

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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