Taiwan accused the Chinese army of simulating an attack on its main island Saturday, as Beijing continued its retaliation for US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s Taipei visit.
Relations between the two superpowers nosedived following Pelosi’s trip to China’s self-ruled neighbour prompting calls from the UN for an urgent de-escalation of tensions.
Taipei said it observed “multiple batches” of Chinese planes and ships operating in the Taiwan Strait, some of which crossed a demarcation line that divides the strait, but which Beijing does not recognise.
The democratic island’s military mobilised air and land patrols and deployed land-based missile systems in response, the defence ministry said in a tweet.
The environment became the latest victim of the geopolitical jousting a day earlier, as Beijing said it would withdraw from a series of talks and cooperation agreements with Washington most notably on climate change and defence cooperation.
In a bid to show just how close China’s forces have been getting to Taiwan’s shores, Beijing’s military overnight released a video of an air force pilot filming the island’s coastline and mountains from his cockpit.
Taiwan’s army released images on Saturday of one of its frigates monitoring a Chinese ship within touching distance, and soldiers activating its land-based missile systems.
Beijing said it would also hold a live-fire drill in a southern part of the Yellow Sea from Saturday until August 15.
The foreign ministers of US, Japan and Australia issued a joint statement calling on China to halt the exercises after meeting on the sidelines of an Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit in Cambodia.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned the two superpowers must continue to work together.