Missiles fired from Chinese coast amid Taiwan tensions

Nancy Pelosi, who arrived in Japan last evening for the final leg of her Asia tour, said the trip to the region was “not about changing the status quo in Taiwan”.

Her diplomatic support to Taipei infuriated China, prompting it to hold live-fire military drills in the waters off Taiwan.

China’s state broadcaster said the military exercises that are set to end on Sunday, would be the largest conducted by China in the Taiwan Strait. The exercises have involved live fire on the waters and in the airspace around the island.

Five missiles landed in Japan’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ), prompting Tokyo to lodge a strong protest through diplomatic channels.

Speaking after the meeting Ms Pelosi, Japanese prime minister Fumio Kishida said China’s military exercises aimed at Taiwan represent a “grave problem” that threatens regional peace and security and the missile launches need to be “stopped immediately”.

The US House speaker, who previous asserted American commitment to democracy in Taiwan and elsewhere as “ironclad,” said China will not isolate Taipei by preventing American officials from travelling there.


Chinese ambassador issues chilling warning to Taiwan

A senior Chinese diplomat has issued a chilling warning to Taiwan not to assert its independence anymore, lest it have China “re-educate” the breakaway territory.

Read the full story, only from Independent Premium.


Pelosi: Asian trip ‘is not about changing the status quo in Taiwan’

US House speaker Nancy Pelosi said today that the trip to Asia was never “about changing the status quo in Taiwan or the region”. She made the comments after meeting Japanese prime minister Fumio Kishida.

Ms Pelosi, who became the highest-level US official to visit Taiwan in 25 years, had praised its democracy and pledged solidarity, enraging China. It prompted the infuriated neighbour to hold live-fire military drills in the waters off Taiwan.

Japan’s prime minister Fumio Kishida and US house speaker Nancy Pelosi pose for a photo session at the prime minister’s official residence in Tokyo on 5 August 2022


China’s state broadcaster said the military exercises that began yesterday and are set to end on Sunday, would be the largest conducted by China in the Taiwan Strait. The exercises have involved live fire on the waters and in the airspace around the island.

Five missiles landed in Japan’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ), prompting Tokyo to lodge a strong protest through diplomatic channels.

One of Washington’s closest allies, Tokyo has been increasingly alarmed about China’s growing might in the Indo-Pacific and the possibility that Beijing could take military action against Taiwan.


China’s Dongfeng missiles take center stage amid Taiwan tensions

Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defence has accused China of firing 11 Dongfeng ballistic missiles into waters to the northeast and southwest of the island as part of aggressive military drills intended as an intimidating show of force.

Tensions in the region have escalated considerably following a visit to Taiwan this week by Nancy Pelosi, speaker of the US House of Representatives, third in line to the presidency and the most senior American politician to visit the country in 25 years.

Beijing urged Ms Pelosi not to pay her respects to a territory that has its own democratic political system, constitution and military but which China considers its own, warning that the trip amounted to “playing with fire”.

After she brushed off those threats and arrived in Taipei, the superpower ordered five days of live-fire exercises and warned that regional conflict could become inevitable, ratcheting up tensions with the self-governing republic to their highest levels since 1996.

Joe Sommerlad with the full story.


South Korean president misses Pelosi meeting for staycation

Nancy Pelosi’s much-watched Asia tour has included a run of high-profile meetings: conversations with the prime ministers of Singapore and Malaysia; a meeting with the president of Taiwan; and a likely dialogue with the prime minister of Japan by the end of the week.

Missing from that list is the president of South Korea, who missed an in-person get together with the House Speaker as he takes a staycation in Seoul.

Ms Pelosi arrived in South Korea on Wednesday evening. At the time Yoon Suk-yeol was in north Seoul attending a theater performance, grabbing selfies and dinner with the cast of a comedy about a subway station worker.

Mr Yoon’s office has explained he was unavailable to meet in person with the US leader.

Here’s our full story on the snub.


Photos and videos capture Nancy Pelosi arriving in Japan

Nancy Pelosi arrived in Japan on Thursday evening.

She was greated by a delegation including US Ambassador Rahm Emanuel and Ricky Rupp, the commander of US forces in Japan.

Here’s what the scene looked like on the ground.


Nancy Pelosi arrives in Japan

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi arrived in Japan on Thursday evening for the final leg of her Asia tour.

Her plane taxied in at Yokota Air Base in Tokyo around 10pm.

Ms Pelosi is scheduled to meet with the Speaker of Japan’s Lower House, Hosoda Hiroyuki, during her visit.

She will also have breakfast on Friday with Prime Minister Fumio Kishida to discuss the US-Japan alliance.

Japan has protested China’s military excercises near Taiwan, which came as the US official visited the contested island nation earlier this week.


Another high-profile foreign trip—to the US

Nancy Pelosi isn’t the only leader on a controversial foreign tour.

A little over a week ago, Hungary’s prime minister delivered a speech about immigration in which he declared that Europeans “do not want to become peoples of mixed-race.”

The comments by Viktor Orban, the 59-year-old far-right leader, prompted outrage in his own country and across Europe for their explicit racism, and led to the resignation of his close adviser of 20 years, who described the speech as “pure Nazi text.”

But Mr Orban’s use of white supremacist rhetoric did little to dampen the enthusiasm of American conservatives for his visit to the United States this week.

The prime minister was pictured smiling alongside Donald Trump at his Bedminster golf resort on Tuesday. After the meeting, the former president released a statement in which he described Mr Orban as a “friend,” adding: “few people know as much about what is going on in the world today.”

Richard Hall with the full story.


Why did Pelosi visit the DMZ?

As if the tension wasn’t high enough, Nancy Pelosi visited the heavily fortified, 160-mile Demilitarised Zone between North and South Korea on Thursday with members of a congressional delegation.

“It was a privilege to engage with American heroes in uniform on the ground in Korea, led by General Paul LaCamera, Commander, U.S. Forces Korea. During visits to the Demilitarized Zone/Joint Security Area (DMZ/JSA) and Osan Air Base, we conveyed the gratitude of the Congress and the Country for the patriotic service of our Servicemembers, who stand as sentinels of Democracy on the Korean peninsula,” she wrote in a statement afterwards.

The visit, as well as Ms Pelosi’s meeting with South Korean leaders, reinforced the US’s role as a nuclear deterent on the Korean peninsula.

“The United States and South Korea share a strong bond formed for security and forged by decades of warm friendship. Our Congressional delegation traveled to Seoul to reaffirm our treasured ties and our shared commitment to advancing security and stability, economic growth and democratic governance,” the House Speaker said of her visit.


Chinese ambassador to US slams Pelosi trip in Washington Post op-ed

Qin Gang, the Chinese ambassador to the US, voice his frustration with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s Taiwan trip in a scathing op-ed published Thursday in The Washington Post.

In the piece, he argued the US and the international community have long recognised China as the sole representative of Taiwan. Ms Pelosi’s trip, he said, shattered an unsteady peace.

“These are extremely irresponsible, provocative and dangerous moves,” he wrote. “The one-China principle is part of the postwar international order and has become a general international consensus. As a country that thinks of itself as a champion of the ‘rules-based international order,’ the United States should naturally abide by the one-China principle.”

Read the full piece via the Post.


Tucker Carlson mocked for saying ‘US has never been less ready for war’

Between Nancy Pelosi’s Taiwan trip and the US strike on Al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri, questions and analysis about the US military’s tactics are on the minds of many. Including Tucker Carlson.

The Fox News host went on a tirade earlier this week blasting the military readiness of the US on the same day that President Joe Biden announced that the leader of Al-Qaeda had been killed.

On Monday night, Mr Carlson also laced into House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who landed in Taiwan on the following day along with fellow Democratic lawmakers for a trip that has been criticized for ratcheting up tensions with China. China notably considers the island part of its own territory.

“Nancy Pelosi … has no understanding of what she is doing or what might happen if she does it”, Mr Carlson said ahead of Ms Pelosi’s trip. “No one wants to say it out loud, but the truth is, she can’t know because, like Kamala Harris, she’s never even been in a bar fight. She has no understanding of violence or its consequences and there are consequences, including the potential deaths of millions of people.”

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