China live-fire military exercises: Taiwan’s Kinmen islands fire flares to drive away drones – live | taiwan

Taiwan fires flares to drive away drones near Kinmen islands

Taiwan’s defense ministry said on Thursday that unidentified aircraft, probably drones, had flown on Wednesday night above the area of ​​its Kinmen islands, which are just off the southeastern coast of China, and that it had fired flares to drive them away.

A senior military official at Taiwan’s outlying Kinmen Islands added that the situation is “normal” on the islands, including it military alertness level, according to a recent Reuters report.

Relics of Kinmen's history of warfare are scattered across the islands.  Kinmen is Taiwan territory but just a few kilometers from the Chinese mainland.
Relics of Kinmen’s history of warfare are scattered across the islands. Kinmen is Taiwan territory but just a few kilometers from the Chinese mainland. Photograph: Helen Davidson/The Observer

Key events

South Korea’s President to speak by phone with Pelosi – reports

US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi arrived in Seoul on Wednesday night where she is scheduled to meet with South Korea’s National Assembly Speaker Kim Jin-pyo and leaders of the ruling conservative People Power Party, as well as the opposition Democratic Party of Korea.

Earlier reports suggested South Korea’s President Yoon Suk-yeol had no plans to meet with the senior US official as he is currently on a summer holiday.

However, Yonhap news agency is now reporting that Yoon will speak by phone with Pelosi during her visit.

Taiwan defense ministry claims cyber attacks

The Taiwan defense ministry has said its website suffered cyber attacks and went offline temporarily on Thursdayadding it is working closely with other authorities to enhance cyber security as tensions with China rise.

Earlier this week, several government websites, including the presidential office, were subject to overseas cyber attacks, some of which authorities said were launched by China and Russia.

US commitment to Taiwan democracy ‘remains ironclad’

US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi concluded her visit to Taiwan on Wednesday with a pledge that the American commitment to democracy on the self-governing island and elsewhere “remains ironclad.”

Pelosi received a euphoric welcome as the first US House speaker to visit in more than 25 years.

Before leaving, a calm but resolute Pelosi repeated previous remarks about the world facing “a choice between democracy and autocracy.”

America’s determination to preserve democracy, here in Taiwan and around the world, remains ironclad,” she said.

The Biden administration, and Pelosi, have said that the United States remains committed to the so-called one-China policy, which recognizes Beijing but allows informal relations and defense ties with Taipei.

Thanking Pelosi for her decades of support for Taiwan, President Tsai Ing-wen presented her with a civilian honour, the Order of the Propitious Clouds.

I led a Congressional delegation to Taiwan to make crystal clear that America stands with the people of Taiwan – and all those committed to Democracy and human rights.

Check out this video of our historic visit to Taipei. pic.twitter.com/TON6zB3x4s

— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) August 3, 2022

Here is a little more detail on the suspected drone activity above the Kinmen islands on Wednesday night.

Taiwan’s defense ministry said on Thursday that unidentified aircraft, probably drones, had flown on Wednesday night above the area of ​​its Kinmen islands and that it had fired flares to drive them away.
Major General Chang Zone-sung of the Army’s Kinmen Defense Command told Reuters that the Chinese drones came in a pair and flew into the Kinmen area twice on Wednesday night, at around 9pm (1pm GMT) and 10pm.

We immediately fired flares to issue warnings and to drive them away. After that, they turned around. They came into our restricted area and that’s why we dispersed them,” he said.

We have a standard operating procedure. We will react if they come in,” Chang said, adding that the alert level there remained “normal”.

Chang said he believed the drones were intended to gather intelligence on Taiwan’s security deployment in its outlying islands.

The heavily fortified Kinmen islands are just off the southeastern coast of China, near the city of Xiamen.

Last week, Taiwan’s military fire flares to warn away a drone that “glanced” its Matsu archipelago off the coast of China’s Fujian province and was possibly probing its defences, Taiwan’s defense ministry said.

Taiwan fires flares to drive away drones near Kinmen islands

Taiwan’s defense ministry said on Thursday that unidentified aircraft, probably drones, had flown on Wednesday night above the area of ​​its Kinmen islands, which are just off the southeastern coast of China, and that it had fired flares to drive them away.

A senior military official at Taiwan’s outlying Kinmen Islands added that the situation is “normal” on the islands, including it military alertness level, according to a recent Reuters report.

Relics of Kinmen's history of warfare are scattered across the islands.  Kinmen is Taiwan territory but just a few kilometers from the Chinese mainland.
Relics of Kinmen’s history of warfare are scattered across the islands. Kinmen is Taiwan territory but just a few kilometers from the Chinese mainland. Photograph: Helen Davidson/The Observer

G7 calls on China to resolve Taiwan dispute

The world’s most powerful democracies have slammed China for “increasing tensions and destabilizing the region” over its response to US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan.

The G7’s top diplomats on Wednesday said they were “concerned by recent and announced threatening actions by the People’s Republic of China, particularly live-fire exercises and economic coercion, which risk unnecessary escalation”.

The statement from the foreign ministers of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK, the US and the EU, read:

There is no justification to use a visit as a pretext for aggressive military activity in the Taiwan Strait. It is normal and routine for legislators from our countries to travel internationally.

The PRC’s escalatory response risks increasing tensions and destabilizing the region.

He urged China not to “unilaterally change the status quo by force in the region, and to resolve cross-strait differences by peaceful means”.

They also made clear there was “no change in the respective one-China policies, where applicable, and basic positions on Taiwan of the G7 members”.

[We] encourage all parties to remain calm, exercise restraint, act with transparency, and maintain open lines of communication to prevent misunderstanding.”

South Korean President won’t be meeting Pelosi in Seoul, on holiday

Following US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi‘s high-profile visit to Taiwan, the senior US official arrived in Seoul on Wednesday night as part of her Asian tour.

The congresswoman, who is second in line to the US presidency, will on Thursday meet South Korea’s National Assembly Speaker Kim Jin-pyo and leaders of the ruling conservative People Power Party, as well as the opposition Democratic Party of Korea.

However, South Korea’s President Yoon Suk-yeol has no plans to meet Pelosi as he is currently on a summer holiday, an official at the presidential office told SCMP.

The official denied earlier press reports that Yoon, who is taking a break at his home in Seoul, may head out to receive Pelosi.

In the first place, there was no such a plan (for Yoon’s meeting with Pelosi) as the president’s vacation schedule coincides with her visit here.”

South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol will not be meeting US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi as he is currently on a summer holiday.
South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol will not be meeting US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi as he is currently on a summer holiday. Photograph: Presidential Office Handout/EPA

The presidential office “welcomes” Pelosi’s visit to South Korea and it hopes her talks with National Assembly Speaker Kim will be productive, the official said.

Asked about Pelosi’s controversial visit to Taiwan, she said: “Our government’s stance is that we will maintain close communication with the nations concerned on all issues under the banner of the need for peace and stability in the region through dialogue and cooperation.”

Speculation mounted on social media.

“Because of vacation? No way. Yoon is not meeting Pelosi as he is nunchi-ing around China,” one post read. Had this happened to Yoon’s predecessor – liberal former president Moon Jae-in – conservatives and news media would have “raised hell with it” and accused Moon of nunchi-ing around Beijing, the post added.

China claiming Taiwan’s territory a ‘historical inevitability’, former ambassador to UK says

The former Chinese ambassador to the UK issued a scathing statement overnight, warning the US to stop obstructing China’s “great cause of reunification” and describing the process as a “historical inevitability”.

Liu Xiaoming said:

The United States should not fantasize about obstructing China’s great cause of reunification. Taiwan is part of China.

Realizing complete national reunification is the general trend and a historical inevitability. We will never leave any space for ‘Taiwan independence’ split and interference from external forces.

No matter what way the US supports and condones ‘Taiwan independence’, it will ultimately be a sham, and it will only leave more ugly records of the US grossly interfering in other countries’ internal affairs in history.

The Taiwan issue was born out of the country’s weakness and chaos, and it will surely end with the rejuvenation of the nation in the future.”

美国 不 要 幻想 阻挠 中国 的 的 大业 台湾 台湾 是 是 的 一 部分。 实现 实现 国家 是 大势所 大势所 趋 是 历史 必然。 我们 我们 绝 为 为 为 台独 台独 台独 分裂 分裂 和 势力 干涉 干涉 留下 任何。。。。 美方 以 什么 什么 什么 什么 什么 什么 什么 什么 什么 什么 什么 什么 什么 什么 什么 什么 什么 什么 什么 什么 什么 什么 什么 什么 什么 什么 什么 什么 什么 什么纵容“台独”,最终都将是竹篮打水一场空,只会在历史上留下更多美国粗暴干涉㈫国内政的丽陋耋耋

—刘晓明Liu Xiaoming (@AmbLiuXiaoMing) August 3, 2022

Summary and welcome

Hello and welcome to the Guardian’s live coverage of tensions between China and Taiwan.

I’m Samantha Lock and I will be bringing you all the latest developments.

It is approaching 7am in Beijing. Here is everything you might have missed:

  • China is to begin a series of unprecedented live-fire drills that would effectively blockade the island of Taiwan, just hours after the departure of US House speaker, Nancy Pelosi, whose controversial visit this week has sparked fears of a crisis in the Taiwan strait.
  • Taiwan has characterized the drills as a violation of international law. The drills will last until Sunday afternoon – and will include missile tests and other “military operations” as close as nine miles to Taiwan’s coastline.
  • Ahead of the drill, Taiwan said 27 Chinese warplanes had entered its air defense zone.
  • Pelosi arrived in Taipei on Tuesday night under intense global scrutinyand was met by the foreign minister Joseph Wu and the US representative in Taiwan, Sandra Oudkirk.
  • Pelosi addressed Taiwan’s parliament on Wednesday before having public and private meetings with the president, Tsai Ing-wen. “Our delegation came to Taiwan to make unequivocally clear we will not abandon Taiwan, and we are proud of our enduring friendship,” she said, adding that US solidarity with Taiwan was “crucial” in facing an increasingly authoritarian China.
  • In a later statement, she said China could not prevent world leaders from traveling to Taiwan “to pay respect to its flourishing democracy”.
  • Pelosi’s trip generated condemnation from Beijing and sparked fears of a new Taiwan strait crisis.
  • China vowed “consequences” and announced military exercises in waters around the island on Thursday to show its dissatisfaction.
  • Taiwan’s defense ministry accused Beijing of planning to violate the international convention on the law of the sea, by breaching Taiwan’s sovereign territory.
  • Taiwanese authorities have said the proximity to some major ports combined with orders for all aircraft and sea vessels to steer clear of the area amount to a blockade.
  • While China’s military often holds live-fire exercises in the strait and surrounding seas, those planned for this week encircle Taiwan’s main island and target areas within its territorial sea.

China to conduct a series of live-fire military drills in waters surrounding Taiwan
China to conduct a series of live-fire military drills in waters surrounding Taiwan

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