China’s military announced fresh military drills on Monday in the seas and airspace around Taiwan a day after the scheduled end of its largest ever exercises to protest against last week’s visit to Taipei by U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Military talks shelved
Taiwan’s defence ministry said Chinese military ships, aircraft, and drones had simulated attacks on the island and its navy. It said it had sent aircraft and ships to react “appropriately”.China’s defence ministry meanwhile maintained its diplomatic pressure on the United States, defending its shelving of military-to-military talks in protest at Pelosi’s visit.“The current tense situation in the Taiwan Strait is entirely provoked and created by the U.S. side on its own initiative, and the U.S. side must bear full responsibility and serious consequences for this,” defence ministry spokesman Wu Qian said in an online post.“The bottom line cannot be broken, and communication requires sincerity,” Wu said.China called off formal talks involving theatre-level commands, defence policy co-ordination and military maritime consultations on Friday as Pelosi left the region.Pentagon, State Department and White House officials condemned the move, describing it as an irresponsible over-reaction.China’s cutting of some of its few communication links with the U.S. military raises the risk of an accidental escalation over Taiwan at a critical moment, according to security analysts and diplomats.One U.S. official noted that Chinese officials had not responded to calls from senior Pentagon officials amid the tensions last week, but that they did not see this as a formal severing of ties with senior figures, such as U.S. Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin.Asked directly about those reports, defence ministry spokesman Wu said, “China’s relevant counter-measures are a necessary warning to the provocations of the United States and Taiwan, and a legitimate defence of national sovereignty and security”.(REUTERS)