White House condemns China’s missile launch near Taiwan

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White House condemns China’s missile launch near Taiwan

After visiting Taiwan by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the White House condemned China's decision to launch live missiles near Taiwan as irresponsible and believes that Beijing will continue to react in the coming days.

China considers Taiwan to be part of its territory and has never renounced using force to bring it under its control.

On Thursday, China conducted precision missile strikes in waters off Taiwan's coast as part of military exercises that have raised tensions in the region to their highest level in decades.

National security spokesperson John Kirby told a media briefing that China has chosen to overreact and use the Speaker's visit as a pretext to increase provocative military activity in and around the Taiwan Strait.

Beijing's provocative actions are a significant escalation and long-standing attempt to change the status quo. Kirby said the Biden administration had postponed a long-planned test of an Air Force Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile to avoid escalating tensions.

The US Air Force had planned to conduct the test launch this week, but it will now be rescheduled for a date, without a statement on when exactly, in the near future.

The nuclear-capable Minuteman III is the key to the US military's strategic arsenal, made by Boeing Co.

It has a range of 9,660 plus kilometres and can travel at a speed of approximately 24,000 kph.

Nearly 400 of the missiles are located in air force bases in the US states of Wyoming, Montana and North Dakota.

The US would continue its operations in the region around Taiwan, despite the fact that the missile test was postponed.

We will not be enticed from operating in the seas and the skies of the Western Pacific, consistent with international law, as we have for decades, supporting Taiwan and defending a free and open Indo-Pacific. Five of the missiles fired by China landed in Japan's Exclusive Economic Zone - off Hateruma, an island far south of Japan's main islands - Japanese Defence Minister Nobuo Kishi said.

According to a statement from the Japanese Defence Ministry in Washington DC, Japan protested the missile landings to China as serious threats to Japan's national security and the safety of the Japanese people.

Taiwan's Defence Ministry said that the flight path was outside the atmosphere and is not harmful to the vast area on the ground it flies over. The drills were prompted by a visit to Taiwan this week by Ms Pelosi, and are intended to advertise China's threat to attack the self-governing island republic.

China has threatened military retaliation over moves by the island to solidify its de facto independence with the support of key allies, including the US, along with its moves to isolate Taiwan diplomatically.

China fired long-range explosive projectiles, the eastern theatre command of the People's Liberation Army - the ruling Communist Party's military wing, said in a statement.

It said it had carried out multiple conventional missile launches in three different areas of the eastern waters off Taiwan.

An accompanying graphic on the state television show showed that occurred in the north, east and south.

Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen criticised the drills in a public video address, saying China destroyed the status quo and violated our sovereignty with its irresponsible actions.