The Chinese army began on Thursday, August 4, the most important military maneuvers in its history around Taiwan, a muscular response to the visit of the speaker of the American House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, to the island. . “Exercises begin”the Chinese public television CCTV said in a message posted on the Weibo social network.
The American representative, who left on Wednesday after staying less than twenty-four hours, insisted that the United States will not leave the island, which is governed by a democratic regime and lives under the constant threat of an army invasion. in China. “Those who sin in China must be punished, it cannot be avoided”retorted, from afar, the head of Chinese diplomacy, Wang Yi.
According to the Chinese newspaper GlobalTimesciting military analysts, the exercises are huge “never before”. “This is the first time that the Chinese military has launched live ammunition and long-range artillery fire in the Taiwan Strait”insisted the daily, known for its nationalist tone.
“An unjustified act aimed at challenging the international order”
As a security measure, the China Maritime Security Administration has “forbidden” ships entering the areas concerned. These drills will take place in various areas surrounding Taiwan – sometimes as little as 20 kilometers off Taiwan’s coast – and will last until noon on Sunday.
“If the Taiwanese forces are willing to talk [l’armée chinoise] and accidentally fired, [l’armée chinoise] will retaliate strongly and the Taiwanese side will bear all the consequences.”an anonymous military source in the Chinese army told Agence France-Presse (AFP).
The authorities of the island criticized this program, recalling that it threatens the security of East Asia. “Some of China’s areas of maneuver are encroaching (…) the territorial waters of Taiwan”said Sun Li-fang, the spokesman for the Taiwanese Ministry of Defense, reprimanding “an unjustified act aimed at challenging the international order”. “The Ministry of National Defense emphasizes that it respects the principle of preparing for war without seeking war”responded the ministry in a press release.
For Beijing, these exercises – as well as others, more limited, started in recent days – are “a necessary and legitimate step” After the visit of mrME Pelosi. “The United States is the provocateurs, and China is the victim. China is in self-defense., assured the press Hua Chunying, a spokeswoman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The exercises aim to simulate a “blockade” of the island and includes “the attack on sea targets, the hitting of land targets and the control of airspace”said the official news agency New China.
The EU condemned the “aggressive” maneuvers
The head of diplomacy of the European Union, Josep Borrell, on Thursday condemned the military maneuvers “aggressive” in China, considering that there is “no reason” use “as an excuse” the visit to Taiwan by the leader of the American congressmen, Nancy Pelosi.
“It is normal for MPs from our countries to travel internationally”, he wrote on Twitter from Phnom Penh, on the sidelines of the meeting of foreign ministers of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
His ASEAN counterparts warned that the situation around the Taiwan Strait could lead “open conflicts”in a joint statement released shortly after.
“ASEAN is concerned about international and regional instability, especially recent developments in the neighboring ASEAN region, which may lead to miscalculation, serious confrontation, open conflict, and bad consequences. unpredictable for the great powers”they committed. “The world is in urgent need of wisdom and the sense of responsibility of all heads of state to protect multilateralism. (…) and peaceful coexistence”they continued.
The head of Chinese diplomacy, Wang Yi, was in Phnom Penh on Thursday, where he will meet with ASEAN representatives. His American counterpart, Antony Blinken, also traveled to the Cambodian capital.
If the assumption of an invasion of Taiwan, home to 23 million inhabitants, remains unlikely, it has increased since the election, in 2016, of the current president, Tsai Ing-wen. From an independent party, MME Tsai, unlike the previous government, refuses to recognize that the island and the mainland are separate “in a china”.