China says it will not isolate Taiwan

China says it will not isolate Taiwan

Chinese state media released this photo, purported to show a People s Liberation Army missile being launched during drills near Taiwan on Thursday.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida called for an immediate halt to the exercises. Speaker Nancy Pelosi said that China will not isolate Taiwan. On Friday, Japan s leader called for China to stop its military exercises around Taiwan after five of the Chinese missiles launched during the drills landed in waters claimed by Japan for its exclusive economic use. Prime Minister Fumio Kishida called for an immediate halt to the exercises, which he said were having a serious impact on the peace and stability of the region and the world, according to Kyodo News. After meeting with Speaker Nancy Pelosi, whose high-profile visit to Taiwan this week infuriated China and led to military drills, he spoke to reporters. Ms. Pelosi said that China may try to keep Taiwan from visiting or participating in other places, but they will not isolate Taiwan. On Thursday, 11 Chinese missiles landed in waters to the north, south and east of Taiwan, the first day of the exercises, which are scheduled to end on Sunday. The People's Liberation Army of China said they had all precisely hit their targets. Japan said five of them had fallen into its exclusive economic zone, outside its territorial waters.

The drills, scheduled to be held in six zones around Taiwan, appear to have been designed as a trial run for sealing off the island as part of a potential invasion, despite the displeasure of Beijing. The current leader of China, Xi Jinping, has long stated that Taiwan must eventually be brought under Beijing's control, by force if necessary. The drills have put the United States in a delicate position. The Pentagon wants to protect the region's strength, but it is 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 U.S. Ronald Reagan to stay on the station, but it was a distance from the entrance to the Taiwan Strait. President Bill Clinton moved aircraft carriers closer to the strait during a 1996 Taiwan crisis, and that was a more cautious move than one made during a crisis over Taiwan.

The United States will resume standard air and maritime transits through the Taiwan Strait in the next few weeks, according to Kirby, an indication that the White House wants the Chinese exercises to end first. On Friday morning, the United States Navy's 7th Fleet posted photos of fighter jets on the deck of U.S. Ronald Reagan during what it said were flight operations in the Philippine Sea southeast of Taiwan. It was not clear early on Friday how the rest of China's exercises would play out. According to Reuters, China's Eastern Theater Command, which includes Taiwan, has said it is mobilizing more than 100 fighter planes, bombers and other aircraft, as well as more than 10 destroyers and frigates.