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India takes a dig at China in UN

India’s Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Ruchira Kamboj on Tuesday said the practice of placing holds and blocks on listing requests without giving any justification must end…reports Asian Lite News

Taking a dig at China, India has told a UN Security Council meeting chaired by Beijing that it was “most regrettable” that genuine and evidence-based proposals to blacklist some of the world’s most notorious terrorists are being placed on hold, saying such “double standards” are rendering credibility of the Council’s sanctions regime at an “all-time low”.

In June, China, a permanent member of the UN and a close ally of Pakistan, had put a hold, at the last moment, on a joint proposal by India and the US to list Pakistan-based terrorist Abdul Rehman Makki under the 1267 Al Qaeda Sanctions Committee of the UN Security Council.

India’s Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Ruchira Kamboj on Tuesday said the practice of placing holds and blocks on listing requests without giving any justification must end.

“An effective functioning of the Sanctions Committees requires them to become more transparent, accountable and objective. The practice of placing holds and blocks on listing requests without giving any justification must end,” she said.

Speaking at the UN Security Council meeting on ‘Threats to international peace and security caused by terrorist acts’ chaired by permanent-member and Council President for the month of China, Ms Kamboj said, “It is most regrettable that genuine and evidence-based listing proposals pertaining to some of the most notorious terrorists in the world are being placed on hold.”

“Double standards and continuing politicisation have rendered the credibility of the Sanctions Regime at an all-time low. We do hope that all members of the UNSC can pronounce together in one voice, sooner than later, when it comes to this collective fight against international terrorism,” she said.

Abdul Rehman Makki is a US-designated terrorist and brother-in-law of Lashkar-e-Taiba head and 26/11 Mumbai terror attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed.

It was learnt that New Delhi and Washington had put a joint proposal to designate Abdul Rehman Makki as a global terrorist under the 1267 ISIS and Al Qaeda Sanctions Committee of the UN Security Council but Beijing placed a hold on this proposal at the last minute.

Earlier also, China, an all-weather friend of Islamabad, had placed holds and blocks on bids by India and its allies to list Pakistan-based terrorists.

In May 2019, India had won a huge diplomatic win at the UN when the global body designated Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar as a “global terrorist”, a decade after New Delhi had first approached the world body on the issue.

A veto-wielding permanent member of the UN Security Council, China was the sole hold-out in the 15-nation body on the bid to blacklist Masood Azhar, blocking attempts by placing a “technical hold”. All decisions of the committee are taken through consensus.

Stalemate in India-China talks

While India pushed for a comprehensive disengagement, China’s refusal to discuss Demchok and Depsang had stalled all further progress in talks

The stalemate in the talks between India and China to end the standoff in Eastern Ladakh continues with no breakthrough in the 16th round of Corps Commander talks held last month.

In the interim, the two sides agreed to maintain the “security and stability” on the ground in the Western Sector along the Line of Actual Control (LAC), a joint statement issued had said.

“The two sides agreed to stay in close contact and maintain dialogue through military and diplomatic channels and work out a mutually acceptable resolution of the remaining issues at the earliest,” the statement said. The talks were held at Chushul-Moldo border meeting point on the Indian side and lasted for over 12 hours.

Building on the progress made at the last meeting on March 11, 2022, the two sides continued discussions for the resolution of the relevant issues along the LAC in the Western Sector in a “constructive and forward looking manner.”

Stating that they had a frank and in-depth exchange of views in this regard, in keeping with the guidance provided by the State leaders to work for the resolution of the remaining issues at the earliest, the statement added: “The two sides reaffirmed that the resolution of remaining issues would help in restoration of peace and tranquility along the LAC in the Western Sector and enable progress in bilateral relations.”

While an agreement for disengagement from Patrolling Point-15 was close by in the last few rounds of talks, China’s refusal to discuss other friction areas, Demchok and Depsang, maintaining that they are not part of the current stand-off, has stalled any progress. India has been insisting on comprehensive disengagement and de-escalation to end the ongoing standoff in eastern Ladakh.

Since the stand-off began in May 2020, the two sides have so far held 15 rounds of senior military commander talks with disengagement undertaken from both sides of Pangong Tso in February 2021, and from PP 17 in the Gogra-Hot Springs area in August, in addition to Galwan in 2020 after the violent clash. The 15th round of Corps Commander talks took place on March 11, 2022.

ALSO READ-Why Beijing must link One-China Policy with One-India policy

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Taiwan begins live-fire artillery exercises

The Foreign Ministry in Taipei has condemned China’s extension of its manoeuvres near Taiwan…reports Asian Lite News

Taiwan on Tuesday began scheduled live-fire artillery exercises amid China’s ongoing military manoeuvres around the island.

The live ammunition artillery exercise known as the Tien Lei drill was announced in late July and was designed to simulate Taiwan’s defence against an attack by China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA), reports dpa news agency.

It is taking place on Tuesday and Thursday this week and was planned as part of Taiwan’s annual Han Kuang exercises, but comes amid heightened tensions and just after China said it would extend large-scale air and sea drills to the north, south-west and east of Taiwan that had been due to end on Sunday.

No new formal end date has been announced.

Taiwanese television reported on Tuesday that flares were fired in coastal areas during the military exercise in Pingtung county in the island’s south, near a zone previously designated by the Chinese army for its drill.

The Foreign Ministry in Taipei has condemned China’s extension of its manoeuvres near Taiwan.

“China’s real intention behind these military exercises is to alter the status quo in the Taiwan Strait and the entire region,” Foreign Minister Joseph Wu told a news conference.

Wu said China’s large-scale military exercises, missile launches and cyberattacks were all part of Beijing’s “military playbook to prepare for the invasion of Taiwan”.

He said they were strategies to “weaken public morale” on the island.

China launched the military manoeuvres on August 2 in response to US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan.

Since its launch, the Chinese military practised not only a naval and air blockade, but also amphibious landing capabilities to launch beach assaults on Taiwan, according to Chinese media.

Taiwan’s military said Chinese aircraft flew 66 sorties on Sunday alone. In the process, 22 jets crossed the Taiwan Strait median line, a demarcation that had mostly been respected in the past.

Fourteen Chinese warships were said to have participated, as well.

A Chinese drone was also spotted again on Sunday evening over the outlying Taiwanese island of Kinmen, which is only a few kilometres from the Chinese coast.

ALSO READ-China continues military drills around Taiwan

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China continues military drills around Taiwan

In announcing the manoeuvres to the north, south-west and east of self-ruled island on August 2, China had originally promised their conclusion on Sunday…reports Asian Lite News

China’s People’s Liberation Army on Monday continued their large-scale sea and air drills around Taiwan despite its initial announcement that the exercises which began last week in response to US House Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taipei, would end on Sunday.

China’s state television reported that the exercises were focussing on “anti-submarine and sea assault operations”, reports dpa news agency

In announcing the manoeuvres to the north, south-west and east of self-ruled island on August 2, China had originally promised their conclusion on Sunday.

No new formal end date has been announced.

In fact, some commentators on Chinese media expressed the view that the military exercises could become the new normal.

Defence Ministry spokesman Wu Qian on Monday said the drills are a “necessary warning” to the US and Taiwan, describing them as an “entirely reasonable and appropriate” response to their recent “provocations”.

He said the tensions were “deliberately” stoked by Washington, with Pelosi travelling to Taipei last week in the face of fierce opposition from Beijing.

The Chinese leadership rejects official contacts by other countries with Taipei because it regards the island as part of the mainland.

Taiwan, on the other hand, has long seen itself as independent.

Over the past several days the Chinese military practised not only a naval and air blockade, but also amphibious landing capabilities to launch beach assaults on Taiwan, according to Chinese media.

Taiwan’s military said Chinese aircraft flew 66 sorties on Sunday alone. In the process, 22 jets crossed the Taiwan Strait median line, a demarcation that had mostly been respected in the past.

Fourteen Chinese warships were said to have participated, as well.

A Chinese drone was also spotted again on Sunday evening over the outlying Taiwanese island of Kinmen, which is only a few kilometres from the Chinese coast, the Defence Ministry in Taipei reported.

Until recent days, there had been no Chinese overflight of the island since the 1950s.

Other Chinese manoeuvres are also planned this week in other waters, including in the north in the Bohai Gulf and Yellow Sea, and in the south in the South China Sea off the coast of Guangdong province

ALSO READ: Alarm bells in Lanka over China’s surveillance ship to Hambantota

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Taiwan not part of US, but Chinese territory: Wang Yi

In announcing the manoeuvres to the north, south-west and east of self-ruled island on August 2, China had originally promised their conclusion on Sunday…reports Asian Lite News

Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi said on Sunday that Taiwan is not part of the United States but Chinese territory.

During a short visit to Bangladesh, Wang Yi said United States has been engaging in “sophistry” on the Taiwan question, and China’s actions on Taiwan have been just, appropriate and legal, as well as being aimed at safeguarding the country’s sacred sovereignty and territorial integrity, media reported.

Meanwhile, China’s People’s Liberation Army on Monday continued their large-scale sea and air drills around Taiwan despite its initial announcement that the exercises which began last week in response to US House Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taipei, would end on Sunday.

China’s state television reported that the exercises were focussing on “anti-submarine and sea assault operations”, reports dpa news agency

In announcing the manoeuvres to the north, south-west and east of self-ruled island on August 2, China had originally promised their conclusion on Sunday.

No new formal end date has been announced.

In fact, some commentators on Chinese media expressed the view that the military exercises could become the new normal.

Defence Ministry spokesman Wu Qian on Monday said the drills are a “necessary warning” to the US and Taiwan, describing them as an “entirely reasonable and appropriate” response to their recent “provocations”.

He said the tensions were “deliberately” stoked by Washington, with Pelosi travelling to Taipei last week in the face of fierce opposition from Beijing.

The Chinese leadership rejects official contacts by other countries with Taipei because it regards the island as part of the mainland.

Taiwan, on the other hand, has long seen itself as independent.

Over the past several days the Chinese military practised not only a naval and air blockade, but also amphibious landing capabilities to launch beach assaults on Taiwan, according to Chinese media.

Taiwan’s military said Chinese aircraft flew 66 sorties on Sunday alone. In the process, 22 jets crossed the Taiwan Strait median line, a demarcation that had mostly been respected in the past.

Fourteen Chinese warships were said to have participated, as well.

A Chinese drone was also spotted again on Sunday evening over the outlying Taiwanese island of Kinmen, which is only a few kilometres from the Chinese coast, the Defence Ministry in Taipei reported.

Until recent days, there had been no Chinese overflight of the island since the 1950s.

Other Chinese manoeuvres are also planned this week in other waters, including in the north in the Bohai Gulf and Yellow Sea, and in the south in the South China Sea off the coast of Guangdong province.

ALSO READ-Chinese military drill near Taiwan due to end

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Chinese military drill near Taiwan due to end

The Chinese leadership in Beijing launched the manoeuvres in response to Pelosi’s visit early last week…reports Asian Lite News

China continued its controversial military exercises around Taiwan on Sunday, in what is due to be the last day of the manoeuvres that have considerably increased tensions in the region following US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taipei.

Taiwan’s military reported that 20 Chinese military aircraft and 14 warships had taken part in Saturday’s exercises, with Chinese drones again observed over the Taiwan-administered island of Kinmen, which lies just 10 km from the port city of Xiamen on the Chinese mainland, reports dpa news agency.

According to experts, there have been no Chinese overflights of the island, also known as Quemoy, since the 1950s.

Also on Saturday, the Defence Ministry in Taipei had said that the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) is performing “what it believed to be a simulation of an attack on Taiwan’s main island”.

In response, Taiwan’s military had sent aircraft, radioed warnings and mobilised missile defence systems to track the Chinese military aircraft.

The Mainland Affairs Council, Taiwan’s government agency on policy dealings with Beijing, strongly protested China’s simulation, asking to immediately stop the irresponsible provocation.

The Chinese leadership in Beijing launched the manoeuvres in response to Pelosi’s visit early last week.

The exercises represent China’s biggest display of military strength since missile exercises carried out in the mid-1990s led the US to send two aircraft carriers to the Taiwan Strait.

China has long claimed Taiwan as part of its sovereign territory, and has threatened to retake the island by force should it attempt to declare independence.

The Taiwanese, however, have long seen themselves as a separate nation.

ALSO READ: ‘China simulating invasion of Taiwan’

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Business China

Alibaba lays off nearly 10K employees

Alibaba reported a 50 per cent drop in net income to 22.74 billion yuan ($3.4 billion) in the June quarter, down from 45.14 billion yuan in the same period last year…reports Asian Lite News

Chinese tech conglomerate Alibaba has bid goodbye to nearly 10,000 employees in an effort to cut expenses amid sluggish sales and slowing economy in the country, the media reported on Saturday.

According to South China Morning Post, more than 9,241 employees left Hangzhou-based Alibaba during the June quarter, as the company trimmed its overall headcount to 245,700.

“That put the total decrease in employee numbers for Alibaba, owner of the South China Morning Post, to 13,616 over the six months to June, marking the firm’s first drop in payroll size since March 2016,” the report noted.

Alibaba reported a 50 per cent drop in net income to 22.74 billion yuan ($3.4 billion) in the June quarter, down from 45.14 billion yuan in the same period last year.

“The reduced payroll reflects Alibaba’s renewed efforts to cut expenses and drive up efficiency, as it faces continued regulatory pressure, sluggish consumption and a slowing economy in China, the world’s biggest e-commerce market,” the report noted.

Alibaba Chairman and CEO Daniel Zhang Yong said the company will add nearly 6,000 fresh university graduates to its headcount this year.

Last month, reports surfaced that billionaire Jack Ma is planning to give up his control of Ant Group amid pressure from the government regulators.

According to a report in Wall Street Journal, the move is aimed at part of the fintech giant’s effort to move away from affiliate Alibaba Group Holding that is under immense scrutiny from the government.

Since last year, Chinese regulatory authorities have been cracking down harder on domestic tech giants like Alibaba and Ant Group to end their dominance in the internet sector.

According to the report, Ma could relinquish his control by transferring some of his voting power to other Ant officials, including Chief Executive Eric Jing.

Ma has controlled Ant since he carved its precursor assets out of Alibaba more than a decade ago.

Founded in 1999, Alibaba went through a major reshuffle when Ma passed the baton as CEO to Daniel Zhang in 2015 and further appointed him as Chairman in 2019.

ALSO READ-Data leak: Chinese authorities grill Alibaba executives

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‘China simulating invasion of Taiwan’

China had launched the manoeuvres around the democratic self-governing island in response to the visit by leading US politician Nancy Pelosi to Taiwan, reports Asian Lite News

In manoeuvres around Taiwan on Saturday, the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) is performing “what it believed to be a simulation of an attack on Taiwan’s main island”, according to the Defence Ministry in Taipei.

The Ministry said that numerous military aircraft and warships were operating near Taiwan and some of them had crossed the unofficial centre line in the 130-km-wide Taiwan Strait, which separates the mainland and the island and is mostly respected by both sides, reports dpa news agency.

In response, Taiwan’s military had sent aircraft, radioed warnings and mobilised missile defence systems to track the Chinese military aircraft.

The Mainland Affairs Council, Taiwan’s government agency on policy dealings with Beijing, strongly protested China’s simulation, asking to immediately stop the irresponsible provocation.

China had launched the manoeuvres around the democratic self-governing island in response to the visit by leading US politician Nancy Pelosi to Taiwan. It was the highest-ranking visit from the US in a quarter of a century.

Beijing regards Taiwan as part of its territory and vehemently rejects official contacts between other countries and Taipei.

Photo taken on Aug. 5, 2022 shows a Taiwan military vessel as seen from a warship of the navy of the Eastern Theater Command of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) during the navy’s combat exercises and training in the waters around the Taiwan Island. The Eastern Theater Command on Friday continued joint combat exercises and training in the waters and airspace around the Taiwan Island. (Photo by Lin Jian/Xinhua/IANS)

On Friday, the PLA had sent a “record number” of 68 military aircraft and 13 naval vessels into waters near the island, Taiwan’s military reported.

Taiwan’s Foreign Minister Joseph Wu tweeted his condemnation of what he termed a “dangerous escalation of the military threat” that was “wrecking peace & stability in the region & must be condemned”.

As part of its military exercises, which are due to end on Sunday, the PLA also launched 11 ballistic missiles in Taiwan’s direction, one of which flew directly over the island and passed close to the capital Taipei for the first time, according to reports.

Five other missiles landed east of Taiwan in Japan’s exclusive economic zone, in a gesture that was widely seen as a warning to Tokyo to stay out of the conflict.

China has suspended dialogue with the US on climate action and on certain military matters, while it ceased cooperation on issues such as the fight against organized crime, drugs and the repatriation of illegal immigrants altogether.

A video screenshot shows a warplane conducting operations during exercises and training of the air force corps of the Eastern Theater Command of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) around the Taiwan Island, Aug. 5, 2022. The Eastern Theater Command on Friday continued joint combat exercises and training in the waters and airspace around the Taiwan Island. (Xinhua/IANS)

In addition, Beijing imposed unspecified sanctions on Pelosi and her immediate family members, accusing her of “seriously interfering in internal affairs”.

Speaking in the Philippines, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Washington had no desire to see the escalation of military tensions.

He urged Beijing to “focus on the fact that for 40 years plus, we’ve managed this problem, this challenge well and we’ve done it in a way that’s avoided any conflict”.

“I think that’s the expectations that countries … around the region and around the world have,” he added. “They certainly expect us, the US and China, to manage our differences responsibly and that’s what we’re determined to do.”

ALSO READ: Chinese fighter jets, warships rattle Taiwan

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Chinese fighter jets, warships rattle Taiwan

Multiple Chinese aircraft and vessels crossed the unofficial, but so far mostly respected, centre line in the 130-km-wide Taiwan Strait separating the island from the mainland

China continued its large-scale military exercises around Taiwan on Saturday, a day after the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) sent a “record number” of military aircraft and naval vessels into areas around the island, the Foreign Ministry in Taipei said.

Multiple Chinese aircraft and vessels crossed the unofficial, but so far mostly respected, centre line in the 130-km-wide Taiwan Strait separating the island from the mainland, reports dpa news agency.

Taiwan’s Foreign Minister Jason Wu tweeted his condemnation of what he termed a “dangerous escalation of the military threat” that was “wrecking peace & stability in the region & must be condemned”.

As part of its military exercises, the PLA also launched 11 ballistic missiles in Taiwan’s direction, one of which flew directly over the island and passed close to the capital Taipei for the first time, according to reports.

Five other missiles landed east of Taiwan in Japan’s exclusive economic zone, in a gesture that was widely seen as a warning to Tokyo to stay out of the conflict.

China launched the exercises, which are due to continue until Sunday, in response to US Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan earlier in the week.

Photo taken on Aug. 5, 2022 shows a Taiwan military vessel as seen from a warship of the navy of the Eastern Theater Command of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) during the navy’s combat exercises and training in the waters around the Taiwan Island. The Eastern Theater Command on Friday continued joint combat exercises and training in the waters and airspace around the Taiwan Island. (Photo by Lin Jian/Xinhua/IANS)

The visit of the highest-ranking US politician to Taiwan in 25 years provoked outrage in Beijing, which claims Taiwan as part of its sovereign territory, despite the island being self-governing since 1949.

China subsequently suspended dialogue with the US on climate protection and on certain military matters, while it ceased cooperation on issues such as the fight against organised crime, drugs and the repatriation of illegal immigrants altogether.

In addition, Beijing imposed unspecified sanctions on Pelosi and her immediate family members, accusing her of “seriously interfering in internal affairs”.

ALSO READ: China announces sanctions on Pelosi over Taiwan visit

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China to cancel military, climate talks with US

Beijing on Friday announced unspecified sanctions on Pelosi over her visit claiming that she disregarded China’s concerns and resolute opposition to her visit to the self-ruled island…reports Asian Lite News

Following House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan on August 2, the China government on Friday threatened to take counter-measures including severing diplomatic ties with the US.

The foreign ministry asserted that it will cancel military and climate talks with the US, as well as anti-drug cooperation, cooperation on cross-border crime prevention and on repatriating illegal migrants, among eight specific measures.

Beijing on Friday announced unspecified sanctions on Pelosi over her visit claiming that she disregarded China’s concerns and resolute opposition to her visit to the self-ruled island, news agency AFP reported.

Chinese Foreign Ministry statement called Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan provocative and said it undermines China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, adding that “sanctions would be imposed on Pelosi and her immediate family but did not say what they would be. Such sanctions are generally mostly symbolic in nature.”

China fires missiles over Taiwan for first time

China deployed scores of planes and fired live missiles near Taiwan on Thursday in its biggest drills in the Taiwan Strait, a day after U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi made a solidarity trip to the self-ruled island.

China’s military confirmed multiple firings of conventional missiles in waters off Taiwan as part of planned exercises in six zones set to run until noon on Sunday. It activated more than 100 planes, including fighter jets and bombers, and over 10 warships, state broadcaster CCTV said.

Taiwan’s defence ministry said it scrambled jets to warn away 22 Chinese fighter aircraft that crossed the Taiwan Strait median line into its air defence zone, and said troops fired flares late on Thursday to drive away four drones that flew above the area of its Kinmen islands, off the southeastern coast of China.

It said missiles fired by China flew high into the atmosphere and constituted no threat to it, responding to public concern about whether they passed over the main island of Taiwan.

Japan protested that five missiles appeared to land in its economic zone.

“The US-Taiwan collusion and provocation will only push Taiwan towards the abyss of disaster, bringing catastrophe to Taiwan compatriots,” said a Chinese defence ministry spokesperson.

Responding to the Chinese drills, President Tsai Ing-wen said Taiwan would not provoke conflicts but would firmly defend its sovereignty and national security.

“Taiwan will never be knocked down by challenges,” Tsai said in a recorded video message to the people of Taiwan.

“We are calm and not impetuous, we are rational and not provocative, but we will also be firm and not shirk.”

The White House condemned China’s move as “irresponsible” and said it expected Beijing would continue to react in the coming days.

“Beijing’s provocative actions are significant escalation and its long standing attempt to change the status quo,” U.S. national security spokesperson John Kirby told a briefing.

To avoid escalating tensions further, the United States has postponed a long-planned test of an Air Force Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile, Kirby said.

Taiwan said 11 Chinese Dongfeng ballistic missiles had been fired in nearby waters – the first time since 1996. 

Taiwan officials said the drills violated United Nations rules, invaded its space and threatened free air and sea navigation. It has been self-ruled since 1949, when Mao Zedong’s communists took power in Beijing after defeating Chiang Kai-shek’s Kuomintang (KMT) nationalists in a civil war, prompting the KMT-led government to retreat to the island.

The military activity followed Pelosi’s unannounced visit of support to Taiwan in defiance of warnings from China.

Before the drills officially began, Chinese navy ships and military aircraft briefly crossed the Taiwan Strait median line several times on Thursday, a Taiwanese source briefed on the matter told Reuters.

By midday, warships from both sides remained in close proximity as Taiwan also scrambled jets and deployed missile systems to track Chinese aircraft crossing the line.

“They flew in and then flew out, again and again. They continue to harass us,” the Taiwanese source said.

China, which has long said it reserves the right to take Taiwan by force, says its differences with the island are an internal affair. 

In Taiwan, life was largely normal despite worries that Beijing could fire a missile over the main island as North Korea did over Japan’s northern island of Hokkaido in 2017.

“When China says it wants to annex Taiwan by force, they have actually said that for quite a while,” said Chen Ming-cheng, a 38-year-old realtor. “From my personal understanding, they are trying to deflect public anger, the anger of their own people, and turn it onto Taiwan.”

Taiwan said websites of its defence ministry, foreign ministry and the presidential office were attacked by hackers and warned of coming “psychological warfare”.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi called Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan a “manic, irresponsible and highly irrational” act, state broadcaster CCTV reported.

Wang, speaking at a meeting of Southeast Asian foreign ministers in Cambodia, said China had tried to avert crisis by diplomatic means but would never let its core interests be hurt.

Unusually, the drills in six areas around Taiwan were announced with a locator map circulated by China’s official Xinhua news agency – a factor that for some analysts illustrated playing to both domestic and foreign audiences. 

In Beijing, security near the U.S. Embassy was unusually tight though there were no signs of significant protests.

“I think this (Pelosi’s visit) is a good thing,” said a man surnamed Zhao in Beijing. “It gives us an opportunity to surround Taiwan, then to use this opportunity to take Taiwan by force. I think we should thank Comrade Pelosi.”

Pelosi, the highest-level U.S. visitor to Taiwan in 25 years, praised its democracy and pledged American solidarity during her brief stopover. Chinese anger could not stop world leaders from travelling there, she said.

“Our delegation came to Taiwan to make unequivocally clear that we will not abandon Taiwan,” Pelosi told Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen, whom Beijing suspects of pushing for formal independence – a red line for China. 

China summoned the U.S. ambassador in Beijing in protest and halted several agricultural imports from Taiwan.

ALSO READ: China lifts ban on Tibetan festival after 20 years

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China’s military drill irresponsible, says Taiwan President

On Thursday, the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) continued the series of live-fire drills around the island which are due to last until Sunday, reports dpa news agency….reports Asian Lite News

Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen has called China’s military exercises off the coast of the self-governing island “irresponsible not only for Taiwan, but also for the international community”.

Demanding that Beijing be “rational and self-restrained”, Tsai said in a video address on Thursday night: “With China initiating military exercises in areas around Taiwan today, we call on Beijing to act with reason and exercise restraint. Taiwan will not escalate conflict, but we will resolutely defend our sovereignty, our security and our democracy.”

On Thursday, the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) continued the series of live-fire drills around the island which are due to last until Sunday, reports dpa news agency.

The Taiwan government was working to ensure safe and smooth operations at the island’s ports and airports, as well as the stability of the financial markets, the President added.

According to Japan’s Defence Ministry, four Chinese missile shells landed inside Japan’s exclusive economic zone after flying over Taiwan.

However, Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defence would not confirm that the missiles has passed over the island, saying only that the military was employing various early-warning and monitoring mechanisms to track missiles fired by the PLA and had activated its defence systems.

Tsai thanked the G7 countries for calling on Beijing to refrain from “aggressive military activity” in the region and for reiterating its commitment to stability in the Taiwan Strait.

“We strive to maintain the status quo across the Taiwan Strait, and always keep an open mind for constructive dialogues,” she added.

The Chinese military kicked off major air and sea drills in the waters surrounding Taiwan shortly after US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi ended a visit to the island which has drawn Beijing’s ire.

ALSO READ: Japan, US vow cooperation on Taiwan