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China fires missiles into waters off Taiwan in retaliation for Pelosi’s visit

  • August 5, 2022
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All national papers reported extensively on the multiple military exercises that the PLA commenced yesterday in waters off Taiwan in response to House Speaker Pelosi’s visit to the self-governing territory on Wednesday, saying that according to the GOJ, nine ballistic missiles were test-launched from three locations on the mainland into the waters east of Taiwan and that five of them apparently splashed down within Japan’s EEZ southwest of Hateruma Island, Okinawa. The impact point closest to Japan’s territory was only about 80 km northwest of Yonaguni Island, which is outside of Japan’s EEZ. Four of the nine missiles allegedly flew over Taiwan before landing in the ocean. The Taiwanese Defense Ministry claimed that the PLA fired 11, not 9, Dongfeng missiles.


Although no damage to Japanese interests has been reported, the GOJ lodged a protest and called for the immediate suspension of the training. “We condemn the launch because it was a serious incident that concerns our national security and the safety of the people,” said Defense Minister Kishi. “The drills were very intimidating.” In a statement, a Chinese Defense Ministry spokesperson described the exercises as “severe deterrence against U.S.-Taiwan complicity,” adding that “collusion and provocation by the two will push Taiwan into the abyss of calamity and bring deep misfortune to our friends in Taiwan.”


The papers said the escalating tensions over Taiwan have reverberated to threaten the security of remote islands in Okinawa. Nikkei speculated that the Chinese apparently mobilized a new type of air tanker, which reportedly expands the operational scope of fighters and bombers by 30% and hence enables the PLA to “blockade” Taiwan by allowing a robust naval and aerial presence off the east coast of the island territory. The daily stressed that the day’s developments signified that “a Taiwan contingency is a Japan contingency.” Sankei noted that the military drills reflected the Xi administration’s determination to prevent U.S. intervention in order to realize the unification of Taiwan.


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