TAIPEI: Taiwan on Thursday strongly condemned China's "North Korea" style missile firing into waters near the self-governed island as it asked Beijing to exercise self-restraint amid rising tensions in the Taiwan Strait. "On August 4, China launched multiple ballistic missiles into waters to the northeast and southwest of Taiwan, threatening Taiwan's national security, escalating regional tensions, and affecting regular international traffic and trade," the Taiwan foreign ministry said in a statement.
"The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) of the Republic of China (Taiwan) strongly condemns the Chinese government for following the example of North Korea in willfully test-firing missiles into waters near other countries, and demands that China exercise self-restraint," it added.
The Taiwan Defence Ministry today confirmed that China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) has launched multiple Dongfeng (DF) ballistic missiles at the island's Northeast and Southwest waters.
This comes as China commenced military drills around Taiwan's main island, a day after US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi departed from Taipei following a visit that has rankled Beijing.
Live-fire drills began in at least six identified zones around the island, that regard its own and threaten to take over. The Chinese PLA organized joint combat training exercises near Taiwan waters and airspace, Xinhua news agency reported.
The Taiwan government has urged the international community to condemn China's military coercion toward Taiwan. "The ministry also calls on countries around the globe to continue to speak up in support of democratic Taiwan in order to jointly safeguard the values of freedom and democracy, to maintain the rules-based international order, and to ensure a free and open Indo-Pacific," the Taiwan foreign ministry said.
"ROC Armed Forces are operating as usual and monitor our surroundings in response to irrational activities from PRC, aiming for changing the status quo & destabilizing the region's security. We seek no escalation, but we don't stand down when it comes to our security and sovereignty," the ministry said.
Pelosi's high-stakes visit marks the first visit by a US House Speaker in 25 years since Newt Gingrich came to Taiwan in April 1997. It was also Pelosi's first trip to Taiwan in 22 years.
After Pelosi left Taipei, China sent 27 aircraft into Taiwan's air defence identification zone (ADIZ). Pelosi on Wednesday said the Congressional delegation's visit should be seen as a strong statement that America stands with Taiwan.