Taiwan accuses China of simulating invasion as US relations nosedive

6 days ago 35

TAIPEI: Taiwan accused the Chinese army of simulating an attack on its main island on Saturday (Aug 6), as Beijing doubled down on its retaliation for US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's visit to Taipei after announcing a suspension of cooperation with Washington on key issues.

Relations between the two superpowers have nosedived in the wake of Pelosi's trip to China's self-ruled neighbour - which it claims as its territory - prompting calls from the UN for an urgent de-escalation of tensions.

And Friday saw the environment become the latest victim of the geopolitical jousting, as Beijing said it would withdraw from a series of talks and cooperation agreements with Washington - most notably on climate change and defence cooperation.

The world's two largest polluters had pledged to work together to accelerate climate action this decade and vowed to meet regularly to tackle the crisis - a deal that now looks shaky.

DRILLS CONTINUE

Beijing on Saturday continued some of its largest-ever military drills around Taiwan - exercises aimed at practising a blockade and ultimate invasion of the island, analysts say.

Taipei said it observed "multiple" Chinese planes and ships operating in the Taiwan Strait, believing them to be simulating an attack on Taiwan's main island.

"Multiple batches of Communist planes and ships conducting activities around the Taiwan Strait, some of which crossed the median line," its defence ministry said in a statement, referring to a demarcation line that runs down the Taiwan Strait which Beijing does not recognise.

In a bid to show just how close China's forces have been getting to Taiwan's shores, Beijing's military overnight released a video of an air force pilot filming the island's coastline and mountains from his cockpit.

And Beijing also said they would hold a live-fire drill in a southern part of the Yellow Sea - located between China and the Korean peninsula - from Saturday until Aug 15.

China's state broadcaster, CCTV, has reported that Chinese missiles have flown directly over Taiwan during the exercises - a major escalation if confirmed.

But Taipei has remained defiant, insisting it would not be cowed by its "evil neighbour".

"PUNISHING THE WHOLE WORLD"

The scale and intensity of China's ...

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