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CAAT warns airlines to beware of Chinese drills near Taiwan


THE CIVIL Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT) said with China holding live-fire drills in six zones surrounding Taiwan for almost a week and announcing that airlines serving the Asian routes should avoid Taiwan airspace it has accordingly informed airlines of this development, Matichon newspaper said this evening (August 3).

Mr. Suthipong Kongpool, CAAT’s director, said the agency had notified airlines about the Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) issued by the Chinese for safety reasons. No repeat notification will be made but an email will be sent to airlines that a NOTAM has been issued for this area.

However it is up to airlines how they change their flight path to avoid the Chinese drills.

Three Thai airlines fly to Taiwan, namely Thai Lion Air four flights a week; Thai Airways two flights a week; and Thai VietJet Airways one flight a week.

Meanwhile US House speaker Nancy Pelosi left Taiwan on a US Air Force jet this evening (August 3), concluding an historic and high-stakes visit that drew a slew of responses from China, The Independent newspaper said.

Beijing warned of “punishing” those who offend it, while Chinese state media called the speaker’s trip an “opening salvo of war”.

China has also summoned the American envoy in Beijing to lodge a stern protest and warned that Washington will “pay a price” for its “mistakes”.

Beijing says it will hold almost a week of military exercises that include live-fire drills in six zones surrounding Taiwan, which the island has dubbed a “blockade”. Earlier, it imposed trade restrictions on some food items and construction materials.

Pelosi was awarded Taiwan’s highest civilian award during her meeting with the Taiwanese president earlier today, where she reaffirmed US support for democracy on the contested island.

“We will not abandon our commitment to Taiwan and we are proud of our enduring friendship,” Pelosi said in an address.

Tension over Pelosi’s Taiwan visit ‘should not be underestimated’, says Kremlin

Russia has warned that the level of tension provoked by Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan “should not be underestimated”.

Responding to a question about whether the world was closer to war, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters that he was not in favour of using that word but reiterated that the visit was a “provocation”.

He added that no additional contacts between president Vladimir Putin and Chinese leader Xi Jinping were planned in light of the visit.

Pelosi’s visit today has prompted a furious response from Beijing, including announcement of live-fire drills and trade curbs, at a time when international tensions were already elevated by the conflict in Ukraine.


Top: Nancy Pelosi speaks during a meeting with Taiwanese President. Photo: Taiwan Presidential Office and published by The Independent

First below: Pelosi receives the Order of Propitious Clouds with Special Grand Cordon, Taiwan’s highest civilian honour, from president Tsai Ing-wen. Photo: Getty Images and published by The Independent

Second below: The Taipei 101 skyscraper displays a welcome message ahead of Nancy Pelosi’s arrival yesterday. Photo: Getty Images and published by The Independent

Front Page: Pelosi visits the Legislative Yuan, Taiwan’s house of parliament. Photo: Getty Images and published by The Independent

Also read: US House Speaker Pelosi arrives in Taiwan, defying Beijing

US approves US$100 million sale for Taiwan missile upgrades

Russia and China tell Nato to stop expansion, Moscow backs Beijing on Taiwan

US supports Taiwan over reported Chinese incursions

Senior US official to visit Taiwan in December


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