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Japan tells China to stop military exercises near Taiwan

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Japan Tells China to Stop Military Drills Off Taiwan

The Japanese leader on Friday called on China to stop military exercises around Taiwan, a day after five of the Chinese missiles launched during the exercises landed in waters claimed by Japan for exclusive economic use.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida called for an “immediate halt” to the exercises, which he said will have “a serious impact on peace and stability in the region and the world,” UKTN News reported. He spoke to reporters after meeting Chairman Nancy Pelosi, whose high-profile visit to Taiwan this week infuriated China and sparked the military exercises.

Ms. Pelosi said China “may be trying to stop Taiwan from visiting or participating in other places, but they won’t isolate Taiwan.”

At least 11 Chinese missiles landed in waters north, south and east of Taiwan on Thursday, the first day of exercises, which are scheduled to end on Sunday. The People’s Liberation Army of China said they had “all exactly achieved their goals”. Japan said five of them had fallen into its exclusive economic zone, outside its territorial waters.

China claims Taiwan, a self-governing democracy off the south coast, as its own territory and considers visits by US politicians an insult. Ms. Pelosi met with Taiwan’s president, lawmakers and human rights activists on Wednesday and praised the island’s commitment to democracy.

In addition to demonstrating Beijing’s displeasure with its visit, the exercises — planned in six zones around Taiwan — appear to have been designed as a trial to seal off the island as part of a potential invasion. China’s leaders, including the current Xi Jinping, have long said that Taiwan should eventually be brought under Beijing’s control, by force if necessary.

The exercises have put the United States in a delicate position. While the Pentagon wants to protect the force in the region, it is also sensitive to the risk that a military miscalculation near the island could cause an unintended escalation.

John Kirby, a national security spokesman, said on Thursday that the Pentagon had ordered the USS Ronald Reagan to “stay stationary” in the region, but some distance from the Taiwan Strait entrance. That’s a more cautious move than during a crisis over Taiwan in 1996, when President Bill Clinton moved aircraft carriers closer to the strait.

The United States will resume “standard air and sea shipping through the Taiwan Strait” in the coming weeks, Kirby added, an indication that the White House wants China’s exercises to end first.

On Friday morning, the 7th Fleet of the United States Navy placed… photos on Twitter of fighter jets on the deck of the USS Ronald Reagan during what they say were “flight operations” in the Philippine Sea, southeast of Taiwan.

It was unclear at the beginning of Friday how the rest of the Chinese exercises would go. China’s Eastern Theater Command, which includes Taiwan, has said it mobilized more than 100 fighters, bombers and other aircraft, as well as more than 10 destroyers and frigates, according to Reuters.

... Japan tells China to halt military exercises for Taiwan Read More on ... New York Times.

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