May 18, 2024

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Taiwan has accused the Chinese military of simulating an attack on its main island

Taiwan has accused the Chinese military of simulating an attack on its main island

(TAIPE) Taiwan on Saturday falsely accused the Chinese military of an attack on the island, China stepped up its retaliation after US No. 3 Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taipei interrupted Beijing-Washington climate talks.

Updated at 0:09

Amber Wang with Ludovic Ehret in Beijing
French media agency

M stayme Pelosi, the speaker of the House of Representatives, experienced what she called a “provocation” by Beijing, as Washington vowed not to have official ties with the island, which is claimed by China.

In response, Chinese diplomacy on Friday evening announced a “suspension” of many cooperations with the United States, notably on justice, the fight against drugs, but also on climate change.

The two countries, the biggest emitters of greenhouse gases, signed a surprise deal on climate at last year’s COP26 summit in Glasgow.

On the military front, China continued its largest-ever military drills around Taiwan on Saturday. They last until noon (04:00 GMT) on Sunday and are offered as a practice for the “siege” of the island.

Taiwanese authorities announced on Saturday that they had spotted “several” Chinese aircraft and ships in the Taiwan Strait between the island and mainland China.

Taiwan’s defense ministry pointed out that “some of them crossed the median line” that divides the strait and is “considered to be simulating an attack against Taiwan’s main island”.

The Chinese military announced earlier in the day that it had sent fighters, bombers and numerous destroyers and escort boats to take part in the “day and night” maneuvers.

Cockpit video

A warning to Taiwan’s president from an independence party and the United States accused Beijing of “betraying” its word by strengthening ties with Taiwanese officials in recent years.

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The Chinese military released a video of an Air Force pilot filming from his cockpit, the beach and the mountains of Taiwan from Friday to Saturday.

The impressive images demonstrate Beijing’s ability to get very close to the island’s shores.

For the first time, Chinese state television CCTV reported that missiles were fired over Taiwan during the military exercise. However, this information was not confirmed by the Chinese Army or the Taiwan Army.

On the Taipei side, officials condemned the actions of their “malign neighbor” and announced that 68 aircraft and 13 Chinese military ships had crossed the “neutral line” on Friday.

This line, drawn unilaterally by the US during the Cold War, has never been recognized by Beijing.

The scale of the exercises has drawn condemnation from the G7 countries, the US and their allies. The White House summoned Chinese Ambassador Qin Gang to condemn what it deemed “irresponsible” behavior.

Beijing’s decision to suspend climate talks with Washington has drawn another wave of criticism.

“This is obviously worrying,” said Alden Meyer, an analyst at the E3G think tank, which specializes in climate change. »


John Kirby, a spokesman for the US administrator for national security affairs, chided him on Friday for the “fundamentally irresponsible” decision. “China is not only punishing America, it is punishing the whole world,” he added.

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres expressed his grief. According to him, “resolving the world’s most pressing issues is impossible without effective dialogue and cooperation between the two countries,” his spokesman said.

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With China-Taiwan tensions at their highest in nearly 30 years and the risk of a military conflict acknowledged, experts say the deterioration in Beijing-Washington relations is likely to last.

“The U.S.-China relationship is in a very bad state right now,” says Bonnie Glaser, a China expert at the German Marshall Fund Center for American Studies in Washington.

He cites as “particularly worrisome” the suspension of cooperation agreements critical to the stability of the region, namely those aimed at saving precisely increased maritime military cooperation.

for meme Glaser said the US “may have underestimated” the anger of Chinese public opinion.

However, despite these military exercises, most analysts agree that Beijing does not want an armed conflict for now.