China’s live-fire exercises off Taiwan an ‘unnecessary escalation,’ defence minister says

According to Canada’s defense minister, the live-fire drills off Taiwan are an “unnecessary escalation”.

Anita Anand made a comment on CBC Radio House This weekend and the remarks come a day after Beijing announced it was ending all contact with the United States on major issues – including climate cooperation.

“We are concerned by China’s threatening actions,” Anand said in an interview.

“There is no reason to use the visit as an excuse for aggressive military activity in the Taiwan Strait.”

Beijing’s response to US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan has gone beyond mere retaliation, she added.

“Lawmakers from our countries often travel internationally, and China’s escalating response simply risks increasing tensions and destabilizing the region,” Anand said.

“We urge China not to unilaterally change the status quo by force in the region and resolve cross-strait differences by peaceful means.”

That doesn’t look like it’s going to happen anytime soon.

Defense Minister Anita Anand is urging China to resolve Taiwan-related issues peacefully. (Lars Hagberg / Canadian Press)

In the past few days, China has dispatched more than 100 fighter jets and 10 warships to a show of force off the coast of Taiwan, which Beijing claims as part of its territory.

The country’s strategic missile force also sent ballistic missiles over the island and into the Pacific as a further display of outrage.

Officials in Beijing said Friday they also plan to personally punish Pelosi.

Jonathan Berkshire Miller, an Asia-Pacific expert at the Ottawa-based MacDonald-Laurier Institute, said he believes China’s response is outrageous, but that the message to a domestic audience is as well. as the international community.

The country’s Communist Party will hold a major congress this fall and President Xi Jinping cannot appear weak against Taiwan – something he said must have been on the minds of senior officials. America’s high in the past.

Miller said: “I think the US … has read the tea leaves before,” You can see the Biden administration … first privately and then publicly, warning before such a visit. . “

However, Miller said, this is not the first time a speaker from the US House of Representatives has visited the island and that Beijing may be looking for an excuse to change the status quo in the region.

In addition to Taiwan, 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.

That’s a message to all of America’s allies in the region, Miller said.

China summons Canadian diplomat in Beijing

China’s Foreign Ministry this week summoned Canada’s top diplomat in Beijing – Sir Jim Nickel – to change clothes after G7 foreign ministers condemned China’s actions.

Speaking on Friday, China’s vice foreign minister urged Canada to “immediately correct its mistakes.”

Canada’s Foreign Minister, Mélanie Joly, did not say whether Ottawa would summon the Chinese ambassador to respond on behalf of Beijing.

Anand said the government is fully engaged in the simmering crisis.

“We are opening our eyes to China,” Anand said. “We will continue to work towards the safety and security of that area.”

Canada has two frigates – HMCS Winnipeg and HMCS Vancouver – operating with allies in the Pacific. Both warships are headed to Asia in a pre-planned deployment after they took part in large-scale US-led exercises near Hawaii.

China’s insistence that Taiwan is its territory and its threat to use force to reclaim the island has been repeated by the ruling Communist Party. But the claims have become more stringent over the past few years.

Taiwan separated from the mainland when the country’s civil war ended in 1949.

Residents in Taiwan fully support the de facto independent status quo and reject China’s demand for reunification.

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