Image Source: War on the Rocks
Following a visit by prominent US politician Nancy Pelosi to the island, China has conducted extensive military exercises in close proximity to Taiwan.
China allegedly fired 11 ballistic missiles into the ocean off Taiwan’s north-east and south-west shores, according to Taiwan. Japan demanded an “immediate halt” to the exercises after reporting that five Chinese missiles had also landed in its waters.
Mrs. Pelosi’s visit was viewed by China as a challenge to its claims of sovereignty over Taiwan. It views Taiwan as a breakaway province that will ultimately come under its control—if necessary, through force.
As for Taiwan, which has effectively been autonomous since 1950, the US does not formally recognize it. Washington still has a close relationship with the island, and part of that relationship includes selling Taiwan weaponry so that it can protect itself.
The exercises, according to the Eastern Theater Command of the Chinese military, put a special emphasis on combined blockade, maritime target assault, strikes on ground targets, and airspace control operations.
Tensions were increased by Ms. Pelosi’s brief trip to Taiwan on Wednesday, which the Chinese Foreign Minister, Wang Yi, called “manic, irresponsible, and irrational.” She is the highest-ranking US official to visit the island in the last 25 years.
In retaliation, China launched an unprecedented number of ballistic missiles and conducted military exercises off the coast of Taiwan.
According to Taiwan’s defense ministry, the country has activated its defense systems and is keeping an eye on the situation. Taiwan’s foreign ministry charged China with “following the example of North Korea in intentionally shooting missiles into waters near other nations” in its accusation.
China’s staunch ally North Korea has been charged with escalating tensions in the area by conducting numerous missile tests in recent months.
Japan strongly denounced the Chinese missile launches on Thursday.
Flights to and from Taiwan, as well as shipping lanes, are being disrupted by China’s missile launches.
Ships have been forced to change their courses, and days-long delays are anticipated to have an effect on supply networks and cause delays in international commerce. More than 50 international flights have been canceled from Taiwan’s Taoyuan International Airport.
Following the rise in tensions, the US Navy announced that the USS Ronald Reagan, a naval carrier, was moving towards the area of the ocean that encompasses the waters south-east of Taiwan.
The USS Ronald Reagan and her strike group are currently operating in the Philippine Sea as part of their usual patrol in support of a free and open Indo-Pacific, according to a US Navy official.
In addition, a US aircraft that can follow ballistic missiles in flight has taken off from Japan and is flying in the direction of Taiwan.
The Basics of China and Taiwan
Why are relations between China and Taiwan so bad? The autonomous island is considered to be a part of Chinese territory, and China argues that it should be united with the mainland, using force if necessary.
Who is in charge in Taiwan? The island has its own constitution, democratically elected officials, and an armed force with roughly 300,000 active members.
Who acknowledges Taiwan? Taiwan is recognized by only a few nations. Instead, Beijing is where most people recognize the Chinese government. Despite not having diplomatic relations with Taiwan, the US is required by law to give the island the tools to defend itself.