- which also targeted the island's de facto representative to the US, Hsiao Bi-khim, to "attempt to produce a chilling effect."
- The Taiwanese Public Opinion Foundation said that 33 percent of respondents and 45 percent of respondents, respectively
A top US military general stated on Tuesday that China’s recent decision to launch missiles over Taiwan is a “gorilla in the room” that needs to be challenged.
In a heated response to visits by Nancy Pelosi, speaker of the US House of Representatives, and a congressional delegation, Beijing has conducted massive air and sea manoeuvres this month surrounding Taiwan.
First time China has done so since the mid-1990s, those exercises included shooting numerous ballistic missiles into waters around Taiwan, which are among the busiest shipping lanes in the world.
“It’s crucial that we fight against this kind of thing. Vice Admiral Karl Thomas, commander of the Seventh Fleet, told reporters in Singapore, “I know the missiles are being launched over Taiwan by the 800-pound gorilla in the room.
“It’ll be the new standard if we just allow that to happen, and we don’t dispute that,” he continued.
Launching missiles over Taiwan into international waters, where shipping channels and free shipping are active, is reckless.
A key component of the U.S. navy’s presence in the Pacific is the Seventh Fleet, which is stationed in Japan.
In this month’s drills, Chinese state media claimed that the People’s Liberation Army fired some ballistic missiles that flew directly over Taipei, the capital of Taiwan, a new escalation that Beijing refrained from verifying.
Thomas contrasted the risks to Taiwan to the South China Sea, where Beijing has spent years building military bases and other facilities on a number of disputed atolls while denying it was doing so.
He warned that if you don’t dispute it, it might suddenly become into military outposts similar to the islands in the South China Sea.
“They are now fully operational military outposts with missiles, expansive runways, hangars, radars, and listening posts on them.”
Taiwan has never been governed by China’s Communist Party, but the party sees the island as its territory and has threatened to one day annex it, using force if necessary.
Sabre rattling towards Taiwan has become more pronounced under Chinese President Xi Jinping.
In an effort to further the idea that the South China Sea and Taiwan Strait are international waterways, the United States and its Western allies have expanded the number of Navy boats that cross them in “freedom of navigation,” angering Beijing.
In response to a team of US legislators visiting Taipei on Monday, China claimed to have carried out further military exercises.
The Penghu islands off the coast of Taiwan were featured in images and video that the state media claimed were captured by Chinese jets passing nearby.
Taiwan, however, refuted the claim that Chinese jets approached Penghu.
“The CCP exaggerated and demonstrated that (its jet) was close to Penghu using cognitive warfare and other strategies. Tung Pei-Lun, a senior air force official, told reporters on Tuesday that this was untrue.
Between Taiwan and the Chinese mainland are the Penghu islands.
They would be the first targets of any invasion attempt by Beijing and are home to a significant Taiwanese airbase.
In a rare demonstration of its cutting-edge military prowess and near response to China’s continued drills, Taiwan’s army announced it would conduct an armed F-16 exercise on Wednesday evening in the coastal city of Hualien.
Beijing on Tuesday sanctioned seven senior Taiwanese officials for being “diehard ‘independence’ separatists,” according to the official Xinhua news agency, in a further effort to increase economic pressure on Taiwan.
The sanctions, which mostly target members of the Democratic Progressive Party, the party in power under President Tsai Ing-wen, were put in place because, according to Xinhua, their actions “grew all the more flagrant” during Pelosi’s visit.
Sanctioned individuals are prohibited from doing business with mainland firms and are prohibited from visiting China, including Hong Kong and Macau.
Taipei claimed that China was using the penalties, which also targeted the island’s de facto representative to the US, Hsiao Bi-khim, to “attempt to produce a chilling effect.”
According to a survey released on Tuesday, the majority of Taiwanese citizens are still unfazed by the drills.
The Taiwanese Public Opinion Foundation said that 33 percent of respondents and 45 percent of respondents, respectively, stated they were not at all afraid of the drills. Five percent reported feeling extremely terrified.