By AFP and Reuters, published by CNA
Tokyo – Ballistic missiles fired by China are believed to have landed in Japan’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ) for the first time, Tokyo’s defence minister said today (August 4).
“Five of the nine ballistic missiles launched by China are believed to have landed within Japan’s EEZ,” Nobuo Kishi told reporters, as China holds massive military drills in the waters around Taiwan.
Japan “lodged a protest with China through diplomatic channels”, Kishi said, calling the matter “a serious problem that affects our national security and the safety of our citizens”.
China is holding its largest-ever military exercises around Taiwan, which it considers its territory and has vowed to one day seize, by force if necessary.
Pelosi’s plane touched down in Japan on Thursday for the final stop on her Asian tour.
AFP reporters saw the aircraft land at Yokota Air Base in Tokyo, with Pelosi arriving from South Korea.
Parts of Japan’s southernmost island region Okinawa are close to Taiwan. Kishi said it was the first time Chinese ballistic missiles had landed in Japan’s EEZ.
The EEZ extends up to 200 nautical miles from Japan’s coastline, beyond the limits of its territorial waters.
The figure of nine missiles fired was an assessment by the Japanese side, Kishi said, adding that the five appeared to have landed southwest of Okinawa’s Hateruma island.
Japan had on Wednesday expressed concern to China over the drills, saying they were planned to take place in maritime areas which overlap with its EEZ.
All nine missiles were believed to have fallen within areas designated by China for the military exercises, Kishi said.
The minister declined to comment on China’s intentions regarding the drills, but nonetheless called them “extremely menacing”.
China scolds G7 foreign ministers over Taiwan statement
China also scolded foreign ministers of the Group of Seven (G7) nations today for telling Beijing not to use a visit by US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi to Taiwan as “pretext for aggressive military activity in the Taiwan Strait”.
A G7 foreign ministers’ joint statement warned that China’s escalatory response risked increasing tensions and destabilising the region and said it was routine for legislators from their countries to travel internationally.
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi rejected their statement, and chided them for ignoring the provocation that had come from the US side.
“It groundlessly criticises China for taking such measures, which are reasonable and legitimate steps to safeguard its sovereignty and territorial integrity,” Wang said in a statement issued by his ministry.
“From where have they received such a prerogative? Who has given them such qualifications? To shield the infringer of rights and to accuse their defenders – how inexplicable!”
The G7 statement had aroused “great indignation” among the Chinese people, he said.
“Today’s China is no longer the China of the 19th century. History should not repeat itself, and it will never repeat itself!”
Due to the statement from G7, which Japan is part of, China cancelled a meeting between Wang and his Japanese counterpart Yoshimasa Hayashi on the sidelines of Asean events in Cambodia, said Hua Chunying, spokesperson at the Chinese foreign ministry.
Hua added that if other G7 nations follow in the footsteps of the United States over the Taiwan issue, then that means they themselves have no independence in their diplomacy and policies.
“(They) should adhere to the consensus reached by China on the one-China policy, as this is the most important political premise and basis for China’s relations with them,” Hua said.
Top and Front Page: In this image taken from video footage run by China’s CCTV, a projectile is launched from an unspecified location in China today, August 4, 2022. Photo: CCTV via AP and published by CNA
First insert: A map showing locations where Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) will conduct military exercises is seen on newspaper reports of US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan, at a newsstand in Beijing, China yesterday, August 3, 2022. Photo: Reuters/Tingshu Wang and published by CNA
Second insert: A man watches a CCTV news broadcast, showing a fighter jet during joint military operations near Taiwan by the Chinese People’s Liberation Army’s (PLA) Eastern Theatre Command, at a shopping centre in Beijing, China, yesterday, August 3, 2022. Photo: Reuters/Thomas Peter and published by CNA
Third insert: A sign is pictured during the G7 leaders summit at the Bavarian resort of Schloss Elmau castle, near Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany on June 27, 2022. File photo: Reuters/Lukas Barth/Pool and published by CNA