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China seems to be downing threatening wars near Taiwan

BEIJING — On Wednesday, China repeated military threats against Taiwan while seemingly dropping wars near the self-governing island it claims as its own territory, which has raised tensions between the two countries. party rose to the highest level in many years.

The message in a lengthy policy statement released by Taiwan’s Cabinet Office and its news arm followed nearly a week of missile launches and attacks on Taiwan’s waters and airspace. Chinese warships and aircraft.

The actions disrupted flights and shipping in an area critical to the global supply chain, drawing strong condemnation from the US, Japan and other countries.

An English version of China’s statement said Beijing would “work with the utmost sincerity and make our best efforts to achieve peaceful reunification”.

“But we will not waive the use of force, and we reserve the option to take all necessary measures. This is to protect against outside interference and all separatist activities,” it said.

“We will always be ready to respond by using force or other necessary means to intervene with external forces or radical action by the separatists. Our ultimate goal is to secure China’s prospects for peaceful reunification and accelerate the process,” it said.

China says its threatening moves were motivated by a visit to Taiwan by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi last week, but Taiwan says such visits are routine and that China only uses use her trip as an excuse to cover up their threats.

In a complementary response to Pelosi’s visit, China said it was cutting dialogue on issues ranging from maritime security to climate change with the US, Taiwan’s political and military backer.

Taiwan’s foreign minister warned on Tuesday that China’s military exercises reflect its ambitions to control large swaths of the western Pacific, while Taipei conducted its own drills to emphasize its ability to control large swathes of the western Pacific. readiness to defend.

Beijing’s strategy would include controlling the South China Sea through the Taiwan Strait and imposing a blockade to prevent the US and its allies from supporting Taiwan in the event of an attack, Joseph Wu said in a statement. press conference in Taipei.

Beijing has extended its ongoing drills without announcing when they will end, although it appears to have run its course at the moment.

China’s Ministry of National Defense and its Eastern Theater Command both released statements saying the drills had achieved their goal of sending a warning to those who support Taiwan’s official independence and those who oppose it. their foreign supporters.

Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen and her Democratic Progressive Party government are “pushing Taiwan into the abyss of disaster and sooner or later it will be nailed to a pillar of historical shame!”, Defense Ministry spokesman Colonel Tan Kefei said in a statement. on the Ministry’s website.

Soldiers participating in the drills have “effectively tested their integrated integrated warfare capabilities,” the Eastern Theater Command said on its Twitter-like Weixin microblog.

Spokesman Colonel Shi Yi was quoted as saying, “Soldiers will monitor changes in the situation in the Taiwan Strait, continue military training and preparation, and hold regular combat readiness patrols in the strait. Taiwan Sea and resolutely defend national sovereignty and territorial integrity. like saying.

Taiwan split from the mainland in the wake of a civil war in 1949, and its 23 million people overwhelmingly oppose political reunification with China while wanting to maintain close economic links and independence across the world. reality.

Through its maneuvers, China has pushed closer to Taiwan’s border and may be looking to establish a new normal in which it can eventually control access to ports and airspace. of the island.

Along with the launch of missiles into the Taiwan Strait, the nearly weeklong exercise saw Chinese ships and aircraft pass through the center of the strait long seen as a buffer against conflict. completely punched.

The US, Taipei’s main backer, has also shown itself ready to face threats from China. Washington has no formal diplomatic relations with Taiwan out of respect for Beijing, but is legally bound to ensure the island can defend itself and considers any threats against it as matters of concern. care about.

That raises the question of whether Washington would deploy forces if China attacked Taiwan. US President Joe Biden has repeatedly said that the US absolutely must – but staffers were quick to dismiss those comments.

In addition to geopolitical risks, a protracted crisis in the Taiwan Strait – a vital route for global trade – could have major implications for international supply chains at a time when the world is facing disruption and uncertainty following the coronavirus pandemic and war. in Ukraine.

In particular, Taiwan is an important supplier of computer chips to the global economy, including China’s high-tech sector.

In response to the drills, Taiwan has put its forces on alert, but has so far refrained from taking active countermeasures.

On Tuesday, the country’s military held live-fire artillery drills in Pingtung district on its southeast coast.

Australia’s recent government change is an opportunity to “reset” its troubled relationship with China, but the new administration must “handle the Taiwan issue with caution”, an envoy said. China said on Wednesday.

China has brushed off foreign criticism of its actions, and its ambassador to Australia said he was “surprised” that Australia had signed a statement with the US and Japan condemning China’s claims. fired missiles into the waters of Japan in response to Pelosi’s visit.

Xiao Qian told the National Press Club that China wanted to resolve the situation peacefully, but “we can never rule out the option of using other means.”

“So when necessary, when forced, we are ready to use any means necessary,” Xiao said. “For what does it mean by ‘all necessary means?’ You can use your imagination”.

In London, the British government summoned Chinese Ambassador Zheng Zeguang to the Foreign Office on Wednesday to demand an explanation of Beijing’s “widespread and aggressive escalation against Taiwan” following his visit. by Pelosi.

“We have seen Beijing’s increasingly aggressive behavior and words in recent months, which threaten peace and stability in the region,” Foreign Minister Liz Truss said. “The UK urges China to resolve any differences by peaceful means, without the threat or use of force or coercion.”

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Associated Press journalist Jill Lawless in London contributed to this report.

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