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Taiwan: Chinese exercises “affect national security”, says Japanese Prime Minister

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Published on: 08/05/2022 – 05:07 The Chinese ballistic missile launches around Taiwan, which began on Thursday, are “a serious problem that affects our national security”, worries Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida. Japan has repeatedly called for the “immediate cessation” of these military exercises. Japan, a close ally of the United States but of which China is also the main trading partner, found itself at the forefront of Sino-American tensions around Taiwan. The firing of Chinese ballistic missiles, some of which would have fallen in the area Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of Japan, are “a serious problem that affects our national security and that of our citizens”, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said on Friday. “We call for an immediate halt to the Chinese military exercises” which have started Thursday and should continue until Sunday noon, added Fumio Kishida after a meeting with the speaker of the American House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi, who arrived the night before in Tokyo.>> To read also: “Nancy Pelosi in Taiwan : in a risky period for Xi Jinping, Beijing shows the muscles”He confirmed that Japan and the United States “will continue to coordinate closely to maintain peace and stability in the strait of e Taiwan”. For her part, the speaker of the American House of Representatives has shown firmness in defending Taiwan. “The Chinese carried out these shootings, probably using our visit as a pretext (…) They will not isolate Taiwan by preventing us from going there. We have had high-level visits, from senators in the spring, from bi-partisan way (…) and we will not let them isolate Taiwan”, launched Nancy Pelosi. However, she tried to ease tensions by recalling that the stages of her Asian tour, including her visit to Taiwan, “were not intended to change the status quo” in the region.” This is (the law) ‘Taiwan Relations Act’, the United States-China policy, all the laws and agreements that established what our relationship is. It’s about bringing peace to the Taiwan Strait and upholding the status quo,” she said. Calls for an “immediate halt” to Chinese military exercises Nancy Pelosi, whose first visit to Japan since 2015, angered China by visiting Taiwan on Tuesday and Wednesday, Beijing considers ant this autonomous territory of 23 million inhabitants as an integral part of its territory. China has started military exercises on an unprecedented scale around the island, using combat planes and helicopters and firing ballistic missiles whose some would have flown over Taiwan and fell for the first time in Japan’s EEZ, according to the Japanese Ministry of Defense. In Phnom Penh, where he was attending a meeting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations ( Asean), Japanese Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi also called for an “immediate halt” to Chinese military exercises. “China’s actions this time have a serious impact on the peace and stability of the region,” he said. For his part, Japanese Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi called the drills “extremely threatening”, while some islands in the department of Okinawa, in the extreme south of Japan, are only a hundred kilometers from Taiwan. “Japan has lodged a protest with China through diplomatic channels”, has said Nobuo Kishi. He cited the figure of nine Chinese missiles fired, five of which seem to have crashed in the south-west of the Japanese island of Hateruma. With AFP

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