Suspected drones over Taiwan, cyberattacks after Pelosi visit

  • Suspicious drones fly over Taiwan’s outlying islands
  • Ministry of Defense says its website was attacked, briefly offline
  • Chinese military exercises, involving live fire, about to begin
  • China says it’s an internal matter

TAIPEI, Aug 4 (Reuters) – Suspected drones have flown over Taiwan’s outer islands and hackers have attacked the Defense Ministry’s website, Taipei authorities said on Thursday, a day after a visit by Taiwan’s president the US House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, who outraged China.

China was due to begin a series of military exercises around Taiwan on Thursday in response to Pelosi’s visit, some of which were to take place within the island’s 12-nautical-mile sea and air territory, according to the Defense Ministry in Taipei. .

This has never happened before and a senior ministry official described the potential move as “amounting to a sea and air blockade of Taiwan”.

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China, which claims Taiwan as its own territory, said Thursday its disputes with the self-governing island were an internal matter. Read more

“Our punishment of Taiwan independence supporters and outside forces is reasonable and legal,” the Chinese Taiwan Affairs Office said.

Chinese news agency Xinhua said the drills, involving live fire, will take place in six areas that surround Taiwan and start at 04:00 GMT.

On Wednesday evening, just hours after Pelosi left for South Korea, unidentified planes, likely drones, flew over the Kinmen Islands area, Taiwan’s Defense Ministry said. Read more

Major General Chang Zone-sung of the army’s Kinmen Defense Command told Reuters the drones arrived in pairs and flew over the Kinmen area twice on Wednesday evening at around 9 p.m. (1300 GMT). and 10 p.m.

“We immediately fired flares to issue warnings and chase them away. After that they turned back. They entered our restricted area and that’s why we dispersed them,” he said. .

The heavily fortified Kinmen Islands lie just off the southeast coast of China, near the city of Xiamen.

The Defense Ministry also said its website suffered cyberattacks and temporarily went offline late Wednesday night, adding it was working closely with other authorities to bolster cybersecurity amid tensions with China. were increasing. Read more

Pelosi, the highest U.S. visitor to Taiwan in 25 years, praised its democracy and pledged American solidarity during her brief stopover, adding that Chinese anger could not stop world leaders from visiting.

China summoned the US ambassador to Beijing and halted several agricultural imports from Taiwan.

Security in the area around the US Embassy in Beijing remained unusually tight Thursday, as it has been throughout this week.

Although Chinese social media users have lashed out at Pelosi, there have been no signs of significant protests or calls to boycott American products.

“WILL NOT GIVE UP TAIWAN”

Taiwan sent jets on Wednesday to warn 27 Chinese planes in its air defense zone, the island’s defense ministry said, adding that 22 of them had crossed the median line separating the island from the China. Read more

Pelosi arrived with a congressional delegation during her unannounced but closely watched visit late Tuesday, defying repeated warnings from China and amid a sharp deterioration in US-China relations.

“Our delegation has come to Taiwan to say unequivocally that we will not abandon Taiwan,” Pelosi told Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen, who Beijing suspects is pushing for formal independence – a red line for China. Read more

“Now, more than ever, America’s solidarity with Taiwan is crucial, and that is the message we bring here today.”

China considers Taiwan to be part of its territory and has never renounced the use of force to bring it under its control. The United States and the foreign ministers of the Group of Seven countries have warned China against using the visit as a pretext for military action against Taiwan.

“Unfortunately, Taiwan has been prevented from participating in global meetings, most recently at the World Health Organization, due to objections from the Chinese Communist Party,” Pelosi said in a statement released after his departure.

“While they can prevent Taiwan from sending its leaders to global forums, they cannot prevent world leaders or anyone else from traveling to Taiwan to pay tribute to its thriving democracy, highlight its many successes and reaffirm our commitment to continue the collaboration,” Pelosi added. . Read more

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Reporting by Yimou Lee; Additional reporting by Tony Munroe; Written by Raju Gopalakrishnan; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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