Taiwan accused the Chinese military of simulating an attack on its main island on Saturday, as Beijing doubled down on retaliation for US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taipei after announced the cessation of cooperation with Washington on major issues.
Relations between the two superpowers soured after Pelosi’s trip to China’s autonomous neighbor – which it claims as its territory – prompted the United Nations to call for an urgent de-escalation.
And Friday saw the environment become the latest victim of geopolitical turmoil, as Beijing said it would pull out of a series of talks and cooperation agreements with Washington – notably. most notably on climate change and defense cooperation.
The world’s two biggest polluters have pledged to work together to accelerate climate action this decade and vowed to meet regularly to tackle the crisis – an agreement that now looks shaky. lay.
Beijing continues on Saturday with some of its largest-ever military drills around Taiwan – exercises aimed at carrying out a blockade and eventual invasion of the island, analysts said. island, analysts said.
Taipei said it had observed “many” Chinese aircraft and ships operating in the Taiwan Strait, believing they were simulating an attack on the self-ruled democracy’s main island.
“Several waves of Communist aircraft and ships conducted operations around the Taiwan Strait, some of which crossed the median line,” the country’s defense ministry said in a statement, referring to the line. The demarcation line runs along the Taiwan Strait, which Beijing does not recognize.
In an effort to show how close Chinese forces have come to Taiwan’s shores, Beijing’s military last night released a video showing an air force pilot filming the coast and the island’s mountains from his cockpit.
Beijing also said it would hold a live-fire drill in the southern part of the Yellow Sea – between China and the Korean peninsula – from Saturday until August 15.
China’s state broadcaster, CCTV, reported that Chinese missiles flew directly over Taiwan during the exercise – a major escalation if confirmed.
Taipei is still defiant, insisting that it will not be controlled by its “evil neighbor”.
‘Punish the whole world’
The scale and intensity of China’s exercises have sparked outrage in the United States and other democracies, with the White House summoning China’s ambassador to Washington on Friday to reprimand him for Beijing’s actions.
Beijing’s decision to withdraw from sustainable cooperation on climate change has now raised broader concerns about the future of the planet.
Alden Meyer, a senior associate at E3G, a climate-focused consulting organization, told AFP: “That’s clearly worrying and raises concerns.
“The climate emergency cannot be solved without action by the world’s number one and number two economies and number one and two emitters,” he said.
“And it’s better that they do it in a collaborative way.”
National Security Council spokesman John Kirby told reporters in Washington the decision was “fundamentally irresponsible.”
“They’re really punishing the whole world, because the climate crisis doesn’t recognize geographic boundaries and borders,” Kirby said.
“The world’s largest emitter is currently refusing to take part in the critical steps needed to combat the climate crisis.”
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned the two superpowers must continue to work together – for the benefit of the world.
“For the Secretary-General, there is no way to solve the world’s most pressing problems without an effective dialogue and cooperation between the two countries,” said his spokesman Stephane Dujarric.
But with tensions over Taiwan rising to the highest level in nearly 30 years and the risk of military conflict high, experts told AFP the latest deterioration in relations between the two superpowers could be profound. and long term.
“The relationship is in a very bad position right now,” said Bonnie Glaser, a China expert at the German Marshall Fund.
She said Friday’s suspension of bilateral military and maritime dialogue while China continued its exercises was “particularly worrisome”.
“We don’t know what else they would do,” she said. “We just don’t know if this is just a temporary thing.”
John Culver, a former CIA Asia analyst, said in a discussion hosted by the Center for Strategic and International Studies that Beijing’s main aim in military exercises is to change that status quo.
“I think this is the new normal,” Culver said. “The Chinese want to show … that a line has been crossed by the speaker’s visit.”
(Except for the title, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from an aggregated feed.)