August 12, 2022
Taiwan says China is attacking its main island

Taiwan says China is attacking its main island

Taiwan condemns China for “deliberately crossing the middle line of the strait”. (Representative)

Taipei:

Taiwan accused the Chinese military of mimicking an attack on its main island on Saturday, as Beijing doubled down on its retaliation for US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taipei after announcing it would suspend cooperation with Washington on key issues. done.

The deterioration in relations between the two superpowers in the wake of Pelosi’s visit to China’s self-governing neighbor – which it claims as its territory – has prompted calls from the United Nations for an immediate de-escalation of tensions.

And on Friday the environment became the latest victim of geopolitical ouster, as Beijing said it would withdraw from a series of talks and cooperation agreements with Washington – notably on climate change and defense cooperation.

The world’s two biggest polluters vowed to work together this decade to accelerate climate action and vowed to meet regularly to tackle the crisis – a deal that now seems untenable.

Analysts say Beijing continued some of its biggest military exercises around Taiwan on Saturday – exercises aimed at a blockade and eventual invasion of the island.

Taipei said it saw “many” Chinese aircraft and ships operating in the Taiwan Strait, believing they were mimicking an attack on the main island of the self-governing democracy.

“Several batches of communist aircraft and ships conducting activities around the Taiwan Strait, some of which crossed the midline,” its defense ministry said in a statement, referring to a demarcation line that runs along the Taiwan Strait. which Beijing does not recognize.

To show how close China’s forces are coming to Taiwan’s shores, Beijing’s military overnight released a video of an Air Force pilot filming the island’s coastline and mountains from his cockpit .

Beijing also said it would conduct live-fire drills from Saturday to August 15 in the southern part of the Yellow Sea, located between China and the Korean peninsula.

China’s state broadcaster, CCTV, has reported that Chinese missiles flew directly over Taiwan during the exercise – a huge increase if confirmed.

Taipei is adamant that it will not fear its “evil neighbour”.

‘Punishment for the whole world’

The scale and intensity of China’s exercise has sparked outrage in the United States and other democracies, with the White House summoning China’s ambassador to Washington on Friday to rebuke Beijing’s actions.

Beijing’s decision to withdraw from hard-earned cooperation on climate change has now sparked widespread fears about the future of the planet.

“This is clearly worrying and raises concerns,” Alden Meyer, a senior associate at climate-focused think tank E3G, told AFP.

“It is impossible to address the climate emergency if the world’s number one and number two economies and number one and number two emitters are not taking action,” he said.

“And it’s always better to do it collaboratively.”

National Security Council spokesman John Kirby told reporters in Washington that the decision was “fundamentally irresponsible.”

“They’re really punishing the whole world, because the climate crisis doesn’t recognize geographic boundaries and boundaries,” Kirby said.

“The world’s largest emitter is now refusing to take the critical steps needed to tackle the climate crisis.”

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned that the two superpowers must continue to work together – for the world.

“For the Secretary-General, there is no way to solve the world’s most serious problems without effective dialogue and cooperation between the two countries,” his spokesman, Stephane Dujarric, said.

‘the new normal’

But tensions on Taiwan have risen to their highest level in nearly 30 years and the threat of a military conflict has risen, experts told AFP, adding that the latest deterioration in relations between the two superpowers could be deep and long-lasting.

“The relationship is in a very bad shape right now,” said Bonnie Glaser, a China expert at the German Marshall Fund.

He said the postponement of bilateral military and maritime talks on Friday, while China continued its military exercises, was “particularly worrying”.

“We don’t know what else they’ll do,” she said. “We don’t know if it’s just a temporary thing.”

Former CIA Asia analyst John Culver said in a discussion organized by the Center for Strategic and International Studies that Beijing’s main objective of the military exercise was to change that status quo.

“I think this is the new normal,” Culver said. “The Chinese want to show … that a line has been crossed by the speaker’s visit.”

(Except for the title, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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