Chinese Military Drills Near Taiwan Continue

China continued Saturday project ire House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s recent visit Taiwan, third straight day military drills encroached ever closer island raised concerns potential conflict.

The Taiwanese defense ministry said Saturday several batches Chinese military aircraft warships detected around Taiwan Strait, crossing informal median line divides island Chinese mainland. They appeared engaged exercise simulating attack main island Taiwan, ministry said.

Already, China’s show force, expected run Sunday, threatened territory Taiwan considers directly previous exercises .

China launched least 11 missiles waters north, south east Taiwan, including least one flew island, though Taiwan said high altitude constituted threat. On Friday, also deployed fighter jets, bombers, destroyers, drones escort ships waters near island. Several zones Chinese military designated week’s exercises closer island areas announced Taiwan Strait crisis mid-1990s, also involved China firing missiles around Taiwan.

Since exercises began Thursday, least 49 Chinese military jets crossed median line, according Taiwanese officials.

Taiwan’s foreign ministry said statement Saturday China “unilaterally created crisis” overreacting Ms. Pelosi’s visit.

“The Taiwanese people right befriend rest world, China right interfere rest world befriending Taiwan,” statement said.

The military exercises visible element Chinese response Ms. Pelosi’s trip Taiwan, said intended show support island vibrant democracy. Before arrival Tuesday, China repeatedly warned gesture Ms. Pelosi — highest-ranking American official visit Taiwan 25 years — provoke “serious consequences.” China claims Taiwan territory, China’s leader, Xi Jinping, promised eventual reunification, force necessary.

China also said Friday cancel suspend talks United States military coordination climate change, analysts said increase chances miscommunication spiraling full-fledged crisis.

At time, United States looking shore ties Asian countries, counterweight China’s regional global influence. On Saturday, Secretary State Antony J. Blinken met president Philippines, Ferdinand Marcos Jr., Manila. In public exchange, Mr. Marcos told Mr. Blinken think Ms. Pelosi’s visit “raised intensity” tensions region, said already high — apparent rebuttal China’s claims United States responsible current frictions.

Fears China seek physically prevent Ms. Pelosi’s visit unrealized. But American officials remain concerned exercises, began less 24 hours left Taiwan, still escalate, intentionally accidentally, direct conflict.

Chinese officials, encouraged swaggering times virulent nationalism home, may feel pressure show putting strong response. Some Chinese social media users expressed disappointment embarrassment government go prevent Ms. Pelosi’s visit; made clear expecting military action.

Even drills directly escalate full-blown crisis, signal new pattern aggression incursions Chinese military. The Global Times, state-run tabloid, said editorial Friday work promoting reunification Taiwan “entered new stage.”

The United States tried avoid provoking China . It said remains committed status quo Taiwan, acknowledging China’s stated claim island without recognizing . The Pentagon ordered U.S.S. Ronald Reagan “remain station” region, maintaining distance Taiwan Strait.

But China made clear regards criticism exercises affront. It summoned several ambassadors countries expressed concern drills. After Chinese missiles landed Thursday waters Japan claims , leading Japan’s prime minister call “immediate halt,” representative Chinese Embassy Japan told Japan “slide abyss” geopolitical confrontation.

Amy Chang Chien, John Liu Edward Wong contributed reporting.

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