China’s military has pressed ahead with its largest ever military drills, targeting Taiwan with what the island’s government called a simulated attack, including further incursions over the median line and drone flights over Taiwan’s outlying islands.
Global pushback on China’s live-fire drills, launched in response to a visit by the US House speaker, Nancy Pelosi, to Taiwan earlier in the week, also continued, with condemnation from senior US officials and foreign ministers from Australia and Japan.
Beijing vociferously objected to Pelosi’s visit, which it said affronted its “one China” principle, a domestic policy outlining the government’s territorial claim over democratic and de facto independent Taiwan.
On Saturday, Taiwan’s ministry of defence said it had observed People’s Liberation Army (PLA) planes and ships operating in the Taiwan strait, believing them to be simulating an attack on its main island. [Continue reading…]
Top Chinese military officials have not returned multiple calls from their American counterparts this week as a crisis erupted in the Pacific over House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan, according to three people with knowledge of the attempts.
Beijing’s ghosting of Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Joint Chiefs Chair Gen. Mark Milley comes as China continues launching missiles and positioning warships and aircraft in unprecedented military drills around Taiwan. Officials and experts say China’s silence is a shortsighted and reckless move that increases the risk of escalation in an already tense situation.
“If the [Chinese military] is operating more aggressively, and in closer proximity to U.S. forces with greater frequency, we’d need these mechanisms even more to promote a safe operating environment,” said Randy Schriver, who served as the top Pentagon official for Asia policy in the Trump administration. [Continue reading…]