China-Taiwan News LIVE Updates: Chinese and Taiwanese warships played high-seas “cat and mouse” on Sunday, hours before the scheduled end of four days of unprecedented Chinese military exercises launched in reaction to a visit to Taiwan by the U.S. house speaker.
Nancy Pelosi’s visit last week to the self-ruled island infuriated China, which responded with test launches of ballistic missiles over the island’s capital for the first time and the cutting of communication links with the United States.
Some 10 warships each from China and Taiwan sailed at close quarters in the Taiwan Strait, with some Chinese vessels crossing the median line, an unofficial buffer separating the two sides, according to a person with knowledge of the matter. As Chinese forces “pressed” the line, as they did on Saturday, the Taiwan side stayed close to monitor and, where possible, deny the Chinese the ability to cross.
Here are the latest updates in the story:
– Taiwan on Saturday appealed for international help as it grappled with simulated attacks by the Chinese military around the self-ruled island, as Beijing stepped up provocative drills and warplane incursions in the Taiwan Straits in retaliation for US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s high-stakes visit to Taipei.
– Taiwan says it detected multiple Chinese aircraft and naval vessels taking part in military drills around the Taiwan Strait on Saturday, in what could be a possible simulated attack against the island.
– China’ state broadcaster released a 100-second video of the third day of the PLA’s joint military drills around China’s Taiwan island on August 6. The drills showed mock anti-ship attacks, comprehensive offense and defense, and joint anti-submarine warfare maneuvers.
– Taiwan’s ministry of defence said some of the Chinese aircraft and vessels had crossed the sensitive median line in the Taiwan Strait that separates the island from the Chinese mainland. While the scale of the military drills has led to speculation that China may be getting ready for an invasion of Taiwan, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi played down the reports.
– China said Friday it was ending cooperation with the United States on key issues including climate change — a move Washington decried as “fundamentally irresponsible” as relations between the two superpowers nosedive over Taiwan.
– The deputy head of Taiwan defence ministry’s research and development unit was found dead on Saturday morning in a hotel room, succumbing to a heart attack. Ou Yang Li-hsing, deputy head of the military-owned National Chung-Shan Institute of Science and Technology, had died in a hotel room in southern Taiwan.
– North Korea slammed US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi over her recent visit to the heavily fortified Demilitarized Zone, calling her the “worst destroyer of international peace”. Pelosi became the highest-ranking US official to visit the Joint Security Area (JSA) between the two Koreas since then-president Donald Trump met North Korean leader Kim Jong Un there in 2019.
– The United States, Australia and Japan have urged China to immediately cease its military exercises and reaffirmed their commitment to maintaining peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait. A joint statement was issued by US Secretary of State Tony Blinken, Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong, and Japanese Foreign Minister Hayashi Yoshimasa after their in-person meeting in Phnom Penh on the margins of the 55th ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting.
– US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said China should not hold talks on important global matters such as the climate crisis hostage, after Beijing cut off contacts with Washington in retaliation for Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan.