China Used Drills to Prepare for Invasion, Taiwan Foreign Minister Says | Taiwan

China used its military drills last week to prepare for an invasion of Taiwan, and its anger over US President Nancy Pelosi’s visit was just an excuse, Taiwan’s foreign minister said.

Minister Joseph Wu spoke to the media on Tuesday morning as China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) continued its military drills started last week and Taiwan launched its own live-fire drills. Wu accused China of “gross violations of international law”.

“China used the exercises in its military manual to prepare for the invasion of Taiwan,” he said. “It conducts large-scale military exercises and missile launches, as well as cyberattacks, disinformation and economic coercion, in an effort to weaken public morale in Taiwan.”

He said the PLA activities would have taken much longer to prepare than the time frame for them to be a direct response to Pelosi’s visit.

Wu said China’s tactics, including the firing of ballistic missiles, were “clearly trying to deter other countries from interfering in its attempt to invade Taiwan”, and also showed that it had much geostrategic intentions. wider.

“China’s real intention is to change the status quo in the Taiwan Strait and across the region.”

Beijing has declared ownership of the Taiwan Strait, one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes, and aims to influence the international community’s freedom of movement, controlling the body of water and connecting the Yellow Sea to the South China Sea, he said.

Last week, the PLA carried out more than 100 sea and air crossings of the Median Line, an unofficial border between China and Taiwan that until recently both sides had largely respected.

On Tuesday, Wu said China had taken “specific steps to break the long-standing tacit agreement on the middle line”, and would now likely try to “routineise its actions”.

“His intentions probably won’t stop there,” he said, noting the security deal with the Solomon Islands and China’s influence in the Pacific, Southeast Asia, India. Africa and Latin America.

Taiwanese soldiers fire artillery during a live-fire exercise in Pingtung Photograph: Ritchie B Tongo/EPA

Last week, government websites, convenience stores and station signs were the targets of cyberattacks. Wu said the various attacks were attributed to China and Russia, over several days. Overseas cyberattacks continued and Taiwanese authorities remained on “high alert”, Wu said, but Taiwan would not be intimidated.

“China’s continued attempt to intimidate Taiwan will not panic or defeat us. The values ​​of freedom and democracy cannot be suppressed.

Taiwan began its own live-fire military drills in Pingtung County, south of the main island, on Tuesday. The exercises are designed to simulate defensive operations against an attack on the island. A Taiwanese military spokesman told AFP that the drills were previously scheduled. Taiwan holds annual military exercises, traditionally at this time of year. The week before Pelosi’s visit, major cities held air raid drills for all citizens and staged large-scale military exercises on land and at sea.

On Tuesday, Reuters reported that Chinese navy ships continued to carry out missions off the east coast of Taiwan. Crossings of the median line by PLA fighter jets also continued overnight.

The PLA’s Eastern Theater Command said on Monday it would continue its drills, focusing on anti-submarine and maritime assault operations. Unlike last week, no “Notices to Airmen” (Notams) were issued for the new drills, which would warn sea and air traffic of places to avoid.

At a press conference on Monday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin did not respond whether there would be information on civil navigation and air traffic.

“China’s normal military drills are open, transparent and professional,” Wang said. “The competent authorities have issued notices in a timely manner. They comply with national and international laws, as well as established international practices. This serves as a warning message to provocateurs and is also a legitimate measure to safeguard our sovereignty and territorial integrity.

theguardian Gt

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