Taiwan: ‘Chinese planes and ships have crossed midline’

Tourists look on as a Chinese military helicopter flies past Pingtan island, one of mainland China's closest point from Taiwan, in Fujian province on August 4, 2022, ahead of massive military drills off Taiwan following US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's visit to the self-ruled island. - China is due on August 4 to kick off its largest-ever military exercises encircling Taiwan, in a show of force straddling vital international shipping lanes following a visit to the self-ruled island by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. (Photo by Hector RETAMAL / AFP)

Chinese planes and warships crossed the ‘midline’ of the Taiwan Strait on the second day of full-scale military exercises in response to US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taipei. the island has defined the latest maneuvers as “highly provocative”.

Starting at 11 local (there were 5 in Italy), “more Chinese warplanes and warships conducted exercises around the Taiwan Strait and crossed the midline of the Strait,” the ministry said. China kicked off the exercises yesterday, which will close on Monday, in response to Pelosi’s 19-hour visit to Taipei, which Beijing considers an “inalienable” part of its territory, to be reunified even by force, if necessary.

Meanwhile, Singapore Airlines cancels flights to and from Taiwan due to “increasing airspace restrictions” due to dangerous Chinese military exercises in the Taiwan Strait.

“The safety of our staff and passengers is our priority,” said the airline spokesperson in an interview with CNA Asia.