The live-fire military maneuvers organized by China around Taiwan after the visit to the island by the president of the US Legislature, Nancy Pelosi, enter their second day this Friday, after long-range missile launches were recorded on Thursday. scope.
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Attention is now focused on the two aircraft carriers of the Chinese Navy, the Liaoning and Shandong, which have not been sighted participating in the maneuvers at the moment, but are not in their base ports either.
Yesterday’s Thursday exercises, which involved the closure of the air and maritime space of six areas around the island, included long-range artillery firing practices, with “multiple types of conventional missiles”, as well as the air deployment of dozens of military aircraft between fighters and bombers. This is the first time that launches of this type have been recorded in the vicinity of Taiwan since the third Strait crisis between 1995 and 1997.
Analysts quoted by the Hong Kong newspaper South China Morning Post have ventured that the People’s Liberation Army (EPL, Chinese Army) could use this Friday bomber planes with long-range cruise missiles such as the CJ-20.
For the last three days, Taipei has denounced incursions by Chinese military planes into its self-defined Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ), some of which would have crossed the middle line of the Strait. The president of Taiwan, Tsai Ing-wen, has described in recent hours the Chinese maneuvers as an “irresponsible act” that fuels tensions in the Indo-Pacific, has demanded restraint from Beijing and has asked for the support of the international community. She has also said that Taiwan will not contribute to the escalation of tensions, but will defend its sovereignty.
Beijing’s response to Pelosi’s controversial trip has sparked numerous international reactions, including that of the UN Secretary General, António Guterres, who follows the Chinese military maneuvers “closely and with concern”, according to his spokesman, Stéphane Dujarric. Meanwhile, White House spokesman John Kirby has indicated that the US sees the maneuvers as a “significant escalation” of tension in the area and has decided to leave the USS Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier near the island to monitor the situation.
Hours earlier, Chinese state media had assured that the US ship – initially moved to the area to escort Pelosi – had withdrawn and headed northeast, “hundreds” of kilometers from Taiwan. The White House has insisted in recent days that the US has not changed its policy towards Taiwan despite Pelosi’s trip, the first by a US House Speaker to the island in 25 years.
The Japanese government has also formally protested to Beijing over the alleged fall of five Chinese ballistic missiles in waters belonging to Japan’s special economic zone (EEZ). China, which has described Pelosi’s visit as a “farce” and “deplorable betrayal”, claims sovereignty over the island and considers Taiwan a rebellious province since the Kuomintang nationalists withdrew there in 1949, after losing the civil war against China. the communists.