China fires 11 missiles near Taiwan after Nancy Pelosi visit

China does his elders Missile tests in Taiwanese waters for decades, the day after US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi defied Beijing by visiting the self-governing island she claims as her own.

People’s Liberation Army fired 11 ballistic missiles Dongfeng in waters north, east and south of Taiwan between 1:56 p.m. and 4 p.m. local time on Thursday, August 4, the island’s defense ministry said in a statement. Sun Li-fang, a ministry spokesman, said earlier that missiles were fired from the ground.

It was unclear where the missiles had been fired from and if any were passing Taiwan. China had never sent missiles over the island before and such a move would be an escalation. Taiwan’s Defense Ministry declined to comment on this point.

China also sent long range rockets near the northwest outlying islands of Matsu and Dongyin, and Wuqiu in the west, consolidation of Taiwan. Its Defense Ministry said it has beefed up its guard around the islands, which are closer to China’s shores than Taiwan.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the United States had engaged in recent days with Chinese counterparts at “all levels of government” to deliver a message of restraint after Pelosi’s trip, which Beijing called a “infringement on China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity”.

“We, and countries around the world, believe that escalation serves no one and could have unintended consequences that serve no one’s interests,” Blinken said Thursday on the sidelines of an Association of Nations summit. Southeast Asia to Cambodia.

Earlier in the day, China said an unknown number of its missiles hit precision targets in the seas east of Taiwan. The Eastern Military Command of the People’s Liberation Army, in a statement it ended, said live fire training and lifted relevant air and sea controls.

The statement did not say whether that meant all military exercises had ended in six exclusion zones surrounding the island, which started at noon on Thursday and were expected to last 72 hours. At a regular briefing on Thursday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said she had no information on when all the exercises would end and referred reporters to the initial period of 4 to August 7.

The People’s Dailythe Chinese Communist Party spokesman, said on his official Twitter account that air and sea space controls off the east coast of Taiwan have been lifted.

Taiwan’s Defense Ministry has previously said it remains on high alert in response to the drills, which the agency has criticized as an attempt to undermine regional stability.

Taiwanese Transport Minister Wang Kwo-tsai said flights could use alternative air routes through Japan and the Philippines until the drills end on Sunday, while ships could avoid the six exclusion zones .

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“Sea transport is different from air traffic because there is no fixed route, it is freer,” Wang told reporters during a briefing on Wednesday evening. “So what has been done in the past is to avoid the areas where the exercises were taking place.”

chinese president, Xi Jinping is under pressure to make a strong response to the trip, especially after some local nationalists were disappointed that Beijing was unable to dissuade Pelosi from visiting. He left Taiwan on Wednesday and has meetings in South Korea on Thursday before arriving in Japan.

Separately, Southeast Asian foreign ministers called for “maximum restraint” in a statement released at an annual meeting Thursday in Cambodia. Envoys from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations expressed concern that the developments “could destabilize the region and possibly lead to miscalculations, serious confrontations, open conflicts and to unforeseeable consequences between the great powers”, without naming China, Taiwan or the United States.

On Wednesday, 27 Chinese military planes were detected in the skies around Taiwan’s airspace, including 22 crossing the center line of the Taiwan Strait, the most since the island started doing public maneuvers in 2020.

Separately, Taiwan said it launched Chinese military drones late Wednesday that flew near its ambassador islands of Kinmen and Beiding near the Chinese coastal city of Xiamen.

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