China has just done the unthinkable, sending a missile over Taiwan for the first time ever. Then, shockingly, they blamed Australia for pushing the world closer to war.
In what was described as a “major escalation”, overnight Beijing took out the big guns and launched several missiles directly at the democratic island of 24 million people.
Chinese ships have also been spotted in the Taiwan Strait simulating an attack on the island.
Sending a missile through Taiwanese airspace, over the heads of its residents, is a line it has never crossed before.
The missiles were part of a show of force by China after US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan – a move Chinese authorities consider a provocation.
It wasn’t the only shots fired as Beijing’s aggression turned to the United States and its allies – including Australia.
Chinese Assistant Foreign Minister Hua Chunying has thrown Australia into chaos with a few short sentences that would have caught the attention of Prime Minister Anthony Albanese.
Speaking after Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong said Beijing’s actions were “extremely worrying”, “disproportionate and destabilizing”, Ms Hua blamed “the United States and its parties” for bringing the world closer to war.
“Our countermeasures are necessary as a warning to the instigators and as a step to support our sovereignty and security,” she said.
Now the United States and its comrades have spoken out, accusing China of “overreacting”.
But if they were truly interested in regional peace and stability, why didn’t they stand up and try to convince Pelosi earlier? Couldn’t they see that coming and stop it?
“I hope the United States and a handful of its ‘comrades’ realize that if they respect the principle of democracy, they must hear and respect the voice of more than 1.4 billion Chinese.
What China did this week was to move the world “a few steps away from war” … a war he described as having “unimaginable consequences between two world superpowers,” author Greg Sheridan said in The Australian.
“We may still be far from war,” Sheridan wrote, “but war is near, and is becoming possible, and more conceivable.”
“Chinese Navy warships and combat aircraft conducted live-fire military exercises at six or seven locations forming a circle around the island of Taiwan.”
China ‘simulates an island attack’
Taiwan’s military said Chinese planes and ships operating in the Taiwan Strait on Saturday, in a chilling reference to what I will present next, after it believed they simulated an attack on the main autonomous island.
Taipei forces “discovered multiple batches of Communist aircraft and ships conducting activities around the Taiwan Strait, some of which crossed the center line.
“They have been sentenced to simulate an attack on the main island of Taiwan,” the Defense Ministry said in a statement.
The Taiwan Strait, which separates the island from the Chinese mainland, is no stranger to military exercises at sea and in the air.
But the current exercises have gone further than ever. Chinese ships and planes cross the so-called “middle line” that divides the strait between the two countries. Beijing greatly respected him.
A map published by China of the areas where it is conducting its exercises and where the missiles can land, showed that some are located within 12 nautical miles from the coast of Taiwan.
This would bring the drill to what would generally be considered the inland waters of Taiwan.
Images from maritime traffic tracking websites showed that merchant ships were conspicuously absent from these areas to avoid getting into a fight. Some airlines canceled their flights to Taipei.
Japan’s Defense Ministry said five Chinese missiles landed in waters within its exclusive economic zone (EEZ) near some remote islands. This in itself is the first.
But Japan added that four of those “are believed to have flown over the main island of Taiwan”.
It released a map (below) depicting the trajectories of missiles launched from China’s Fujian Province. The missiles landed south of Hatruma Island, passing directly over or near the Taiwanese capital on their way.
While neither Beijing nor Taipei has officially confirmed the missile overflight, it is being publicly discussed in China.
“Our exercises this time included live-fire tests, and it was the first time they crossed the island of Taiwan,” Ming Xiangqing, a pro-regime professor at China’s National Defense University, told state broadcaster CCTV.
Originally published as China blames Australia as dispute over Taiwan erupts