Nancy Pelosi’s brief visit this week to the self-ruled island, which China claims as its territory, angered Beijing and sparked an unprecedented military exercise that included ballistic missiles being fired at the capital, Taipei.

US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken accused China of taking “irresponsible steps” by cutting off key channels of communication with Washington and said its actions on Taiwan showed a shift from prioritizing a peaceful settlement to the use of force.

The Chinese drills, which are being held at six locations on the island, began on Thursday and will continue until noon on Sunday.

Taiwan’s defense ministry said several Chinese ships and aircraft carried out missions in the Taiwan Strait, with some crossing the median line, the unofficial buffer that separates the two sides, in what the Taiwanese military called a simulated attack on the island.

China’s Eastern Command said it continues to conduct joint naval and air exercises to the north, southwest and east of Taiwan. He said his focus was on testing the system’s ground strike and sea attack capabilities.

Chinese warships and aircraft continued to “press” on the middle line of the Taiwan Strait on Saturday afternoon, a person familiar with security planning said.

Off the east coast of Taiwan and near the Japanese islands, Chinese warships and drones simulated attacks on U.S. and Japanese warships, the person added.

Taiwan’s military relayed the warning, deploying aerial reconnaissance patrol forces and ships to monitor and put the shore-based missiles on standby.

The island’s Ministry of Defense released a photo of a Taiwanese sailor on a frigate looking at a nearby Chinese warship off Taiwan’s east coast. “Not Photoshop! “said the inscription.

It also said it fired rockets late Friday to warn off seven drones flying over its Kinmen Islands and unidentified aircraft flying over the Matsu Islands. Both groups of islands are located near the coast of mainland China.

Pelosi arrived in Taiwan late Tuesday in the highest-level visit to the island by a US official in decades, despite warnings from China.

Shortly after its delegation left Japan on Friday, the final stop of a week-long tour of Asia, China announced it was suspending dialogue with the United States in a number of areas, including contacts between military commanders at the theater level and climate change.

Speaking during a visit to the Philippines, Blinken said the United States had heard allies’ concerns about what he called China’s dangerous and destabilizing actions over Taiwan, but Washington would remain firm in its handling of the situation and seek to avoid an escalation.

He said China’s suspension of bilateral dialogue in eight key areas had been postponed, punishing the world, not just the US.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said at a media briefing on Friday that Blinken was spreading “misinformation,” adding: “We want to warn the United States: Do not act recklessly, do not create a bigger crisis,” Wang said.

Jing Quan, a senior official at the Chinese embassy in Washington, echoed this, saying at a briefing: “The only way out of this crisis is for the US side to take immediate steps to correct its mistakes and address the serious consequences of Pelosi’s visit.”


White House national security spokesman John Kirby said Friday that the United States has nothing to fix.

“The Chinese can go a long way to reducing tensions simply by stopping these provocative military exercises and stopping the rhetoric,” he told reporters.

China did not mention the suspension of top-level military talks, such as with US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman General Mark Milley. Although these talks were rare, officials said they were important in the event of an emergency.

Kirby said it was unusual for military talks to break down amid tensions in China, but “not all channels” between the warlords had been cut.

Speaking in Japan after meeting with Prime Minister Fumi Kishida, Pelosi said her trip to Asia was “not about changing the status quo in Taiwan or the region.”

The Ministry of Defense of Japan reported that as many as four missiles flew over the capital of Taiwan, which is unprecedented. It also said that five of the nine missiles fired towards its territory landed in its exclusive economic zone.

Kishida told UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres that he strongly condemned China’s missile launches as a “serious issue concerning the security of Japan and the Japanese people,” the foreign ministry said.

Meanwhile, China’s embassy in Australia said Beijing hoped Australia would tread carefully on Taiwan issues and avoid others that could cause new problems in ties between the two countries.

The spokesman’s remarks, posted on the embassy’s website, followed an earlier statement by Blinken and the foreign ministers of Australia and Japan expressing concern over China’s military exercises.

Taiwan has been under self-rule since 1949, when Mao Zedong’s Communists seized power in Beijing after defeating Chiang Kai-shek’s Kuomintang Nationalists in a civil war that forced them to retreat to the island.

Beijing says its relationship with Taiwan is an internal matter and that it reserves the right to take control of the island, if necessary by force. Taiwan rejects China’s claims, saying only the Taiwanese people can decide their future.

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