Following a visit by U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, China conducted “precise missile strikes” on Thursday in the vicinity of Taiwan’s shores as part of military drills that heightened regional tensions to their highest point in decades.
Japanese Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi said that five of the missiles fired also landed in Japan’s Exclusive Economic Zone off the island of Hateruma, which is located far to the south of the country’s main islands.
Japan objected to China’s missile landings, he explained, because they posed “serious threats to Japan’s national security and the safety of the Japanese people.”
This is the first time China has used missile targeting to strike within Japan’s exclusive economic zone.
China previously declared that its navy, air force, and other ministries were conducting military drills in six zones around Taiwan. The military frequently tests Taiwan’s air defense zone.
According to a statement from its embassy in D.C. posted on Twitter, Japan’s Defense Ministry also conjectured that four missiles flew over Taipei, the country’s capital, before crossing the mainland. The accusation was not refuted by Taiwan’s Defense Ministry, which stated that the flight path was “outside the atmosphere and is not harmful to the vast area on the ground it flies over.”
Secretary of State Anthony Blinken addressed the matter:
“I want to speak to the recent activity concerning Taiwan because I know it’s on a lot of people’s minds. The United States continues to have an abiding interest in peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait. We oppose any unilateral efforts to change the status quo, especially by force.”
The United States maintains a “One China” policy, which acknowledges the People’s Republic of China as the rightful successor state, and does not have any official connections with Taiwan, also known as the Republic of China.
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