China

China carrying out attack drills; senior Taiwan military researcher found dead in hotel – live


Senior Taiwan official died of heart attack, local media say

The Taiwan official who was found dead in his hotel room on Saturday morning (see 5.52am) died of a heart attack, according to official media reports cited by Reuters.

Authorities said there was no sign that anyone had broken into his room.

Ou Yang Li-hsing was deputy head of the military-owned National Chung-Shan Institute of Science and Technology, where he supervised various missile production projects. He was 57.

A senior official leading Taiwan’s missile production program died of a heart attack, according to official media. Authorities said there was no sign of an external intrusion in the hotel room of 57-year-old Ou Yang

— Yimou Lee (@YimouLee) August 6, 2022

Key events

Taiwan’s defence ministry said its naval forces are keeping tabs on China’s military vessels off the eastern coast.

It comes after Taiwan accused Chinese aircraft and ships of carrying out simulation attack exercises on its main island on Saturday.

Summary

Here’s a summary of the latest developments as it passes 6pm in Taipei.

  • The People’s Liberation Army’s eastern theatre command said it continued on Saturday to conduct sea and air joint exercises north, southwest and east of Taiwan, as planned, Reuters reported. It said its focus was on testing the system’s land strike and sea assault capabilities.
  • The US secretary of state, Antony Blinken, said on Saturday that China should not hold talks on important global matters such as the climate crisis “hostage”, after Beijing cut off contacts with Washington in retaliation for US House speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan earlier this week. Blinken spoke in an online news conference with his Philippine counterpart in Manila after meeting the newly elected president, Ferdinand Marcos Jr, and other top officials.
  • Speaking at a rally in Wisconsin, the former US president Donald Trump has questioned why Nancy Pelosi visited Taiwan. He told supporters: “What was she doing in Taiwan? She was China’s dream, she gave them an excuse. They’ve been looking for that excuse.”
  • Taiwan’s defence ministry has accused Chinese aircraft and ships of carrying out simulation attack exercises on its main island on Saturday. Several batches of Chinese aircraft and ships were detected in the Taiwan Strait, some of which crossed the median line – an unofficial buffer separating the two sides – according to the ministry. Taiwan’s army used patrolling naval ships and put shore-based missiles on stand-by in response.
  • A Taiwan official who was in charge of various missile production projects was found dead on Saturday morning in a hotel room in southern Taiwan, according to the official Central News Agency. Ou Yang Li-hsing, the deputy head of the military-owned National Chung-Shan Institute of Science and Technology, was 57. The cause of his death is unknown, CNA reported.
  • The US, Australian and Japanese foreign ministers have urged China to immediately cease military exercises around Taiwan. In a joint statement after meeting in Phnom Penh on the margins of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations foreign ministers’ gathering, the US secretary of state, Antony Blinken, and the foreign ministers of Australia and Japan, Penny Wong and Hayashi Yoshimasa, “expressed their concern about the People’s Republic of China’s recent actions that gravely affect international peace and stability, including the use of large-scale military exercises”. They also “condemned the PRC’s launch of ballistic missiles, five of which the Japanese government reported landed in its exclusive economic zones, raising tension and destabilising the region”.
  • Japan’s prime minister, Fumio Kishida, said Chinese military drills near Taiwan were a threat to regional security. Beijing announced four days of drills that are expected to finish on Sunday. The drills are a “serious problem that impacts our national security and the safety of our citizens”, Kishida told reporters, speaking after a meeting with the US House speaker, Nancy Pelosi, in Tokyo on Friday.
  • North Korea has denounced Nancy Pelosi as “the worst destroyer of international peace and stability”, after the US House speaker expressed her commitment during a visit to South Korea to achieving the North’s denuclearisation. It also condemned her trip to Taiwan.
  • The US special envoy on climate change, John Kerry, said China’s decision to suspend bilateral talks on climate change with the US does not punish Washington, “it punishes the world”. “No country should withhold progress on existential transnational issues because of bilateral differences,” said the former US secretary of state, who is currently the Biden administration’s top climate diplomat. US national security council spokesperson, John Kirby, also told reporters that China’s decision to halt cooperation in a number of critical areas was “fundamentally irresponsible”.

China restarts military drills around Taiwan

The People’s Liberation Army’s eastern theatre command said it continued on Saturday to conduct sea and air joint exercises north, southwest and east of Taiwan, as planned, reports Reuters.

It said its focus was on testing the system’s land strike and sea assault capabilities.

Earlier on Saturday Taiwan’s defence ministry accused Chinese aircraft and ships of carrying out simulation attack exercises on its main island.

China should not hold global concerns ‘hostage’, says Blinken

The US secretary of state, Antony Blinken, said on Saturday that China should not hold talks on important global matters such as the climate crisis “hostage”, after Beijing cut off contacts with Washington in retaliation for US House speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan earlier this week.

Blinken spoke in an online news conference with his Philippine counterpart in Manila after meeting the newly elected president, Ferdinand Marcos Jr, and other top officials, as relations between Washington and Beijing plummeted to their worst level in years, reports Associated Press.

The US secretary of state said:

We should not hold hostage cooperation on matters of global concern because of differences between our two countries.

Others are rightly expecting us to continue to work on issues that matter to the lives and livelihood of their people as well as our own.

He added that cooperation on the climate crisis with China is vital and that shutting down contact on the issue “doesn’t punish the United States it punishes the world”.

The world’s largest carbon emitter is now refusing to engage on combatting the climate crisis.

Pelosi visited the self-governing democracy on Wednesday, angering China who claims it as their own territory.

Beijing swiftly announced sanctions against Pelosi for her “provocative” actions and cut off dialogue with the US government on Friday.

Amid escalating tensions with the US after Nancy Pelosi’s recent visit to Taiwan, China’s foreign minister, Wang Yi, described her visit as a “contemptible farce” on Friday, saying she shot herself in the foot.

China declared that it was halting cooperation with the US on a range of areas from climate action to the military.

Its forces have also carried out extensive exercises around Taiwan in a demonstration of fury.

China says Nancy Pelosi ‘shot herself in foot’ with Taiwan visit – video

Speaking at a rally in Wisconsin, former US President Donald Trump has questioned why Nancy Pelosi visited Taiwan.

He told supporters:

What was she doing in Taiwan? She was China’s dream, she gave them an excuse. They’ve been looking for that excuse.

Vincent Ni

Vincent Ni

Our China affairs correspondent Vincent Ni reports:

Relations between the world’s two largest economies have plummeted into further uncertainty as China halted ties with the US on a range of critical issues – from talks on the climate crisis to dialogue between their militaries – following the visit to Taiwan earlier this week by the US House speaker, Nancy Pelosi.

The declaration of the series of “countermeasures” came as Beijing for a second day staged massive military drills surrounding the island of Taiwan and also announced sanctions against Pelosi and her direct family members for what it called her “vicious and provocative actions”.

Taiwan’s defence ministry said it had scrambled jets to warn away 49 Chinese aircraft in its air defence zone on Friday and a total of 68 Chinese military aircraft and 13 navy ships had conducted missions. The foreign ministry in Taipei also reported it had detected “massive” number of cyberattacks attempts against its website throughout Thursday and on Friday morning.

Read more of Vincent Ni’s piece here: China halts US cooperation on range of issues after Pelosi’s Taiwan visit

Good morning, I’m Joe Middleton and I’ve taken over blogging duties from Rebecca Ratcliffe. Welcome to the Guardian’s live coverage of the Taiwan crisis.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Saturday that China’s latest actions on Taiwan was moving away from a practice of resolving issues peacefully, to coercion and towards a use of force, reports Reuters:

At a news conference in Manila with his Philippines counterpart, Blinken also chided China for retaliatory actions that went beyond firing missiles to walking away from climate change talks. He said the US would work to ensure communication channels remain open to prevent miscommunication.

Senior Taiwan official died of heart attack, local media say

The Taiwan official who was found dead in his hotel room on Saturday morning (see 5.52am) died of a heart attack, according to official media reports cited by Reuters.

Authorities said there was no sign that anyone had broken into his room.

Ou Yang Li-hsing was deputy head of the military-owned National Chung-Shan Institute of Science and Technology, where he supervised various missile production projects. He was 57.

A senior official leading Taiwan’s missile production program died of a heart attack, according to official media. Authorities said there was no sign of an external intrusion in the hotel room of 57-year-old Ou Yang

— Yimou Lee (@YimouLee) August 6, 2022





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