Vladimir Putin castigates American “insolence” but the Taiwanese are not even afraid

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Did you miss the latest events regarding the renewed tension around Taiwan? Do not panic, 20 minutes takes stock every day, since the visit of Nancy Pelosi, American number three and president of the House of Representatives, which has largely cooled relations between China and the United States. Who did what ? Who said what? Where are we ? The answer below:

The fact of the day

And here is Vladimir Putin again. Not content with accusing the United States of dragging out the Ukrainian conflict, the Russian president assured on Tuesday that the latter also sought to “destabilize” the world by having organized Nancy Pelosi’s recent visit to Taiwan. “The situation in Ukraine shows that the United States is trying to drag out this conflict. And they do the same by cultivating the possibility of conflict in Asia, in Africa, in Latin America,” Vladimir Putin said.

And to add in an address to the International Conference on Security in Moscow: “The American adventure with regard to Taiwan is not simply a journey of an irresponsible politician, but part of a strategy conscious intention aimed at making the situation chaotic […]. It is an insolent demonstration of their lack of respect for the sovereignty of other countries and their international obligations. »

Vladimir Putin spoke as China held new military drills around Taiwan and five US parliamentarians wrapped up their visit to Taipei. The US delegation, whose visit had not been announced, met with President Tsai Ing-wen. The two-day trip focused on trade, regional security and climate change.

sentence of the day

The Chinese decision to fire missiles over Taiwan must be challenged as irresponsible. »

These are the words of Vice Admiral of the Seventh Fleet of the United States, Karl Thomas, pronounced during a roundtable in Singapore on Tuesday. “If you don’t question (China’s actions against Taiwan) all of a sudden, it can become like the islands in the South China Sea (which) have now become military outposts in fully fledged with missiles, large airstrips, hangars, radars, listening posts,” the US commander added.

The number of the day

7. This is the number of senior Taiwanese officials sanctioned by Beijing on Tuesday for their “pure and hard-line ‘independence’ separatist” character, according to the official New China news agency. These figures from President Tsai Ing-wen’s Democratic Progressive Party are now banned from entering China, including Hong Kong and Macao, and cannot establish economic relations with entities on the mainland.

The trend of the day

A poll released on Tuesday shows that the majority of Taiwanese public opinion remains indifferent to military exercises. According to the Taiwanese Public Opinion Foundation, 45% of respondents said they were not afraid at all and only 5% said they were very afraid. Proof of this is that tourism continues in Kinmen, where locals can observe with their own eyes the military power that threatens them. Amid the sounds of boots, the island of 140,000 inhabitants which is less than 10 kilometers from the Chinese city of Xiamen retains its placidity: the buses pour in their streams of tourists and people rush to the observation posts to take photos of the mainland through the anti-landing spikes driven into the beach.

Anti-landing spikes placed on Kinmen Island, which lies just 3.2 km off the coast of mainland China, August 10, 2022. – Sam Yeh

While the islets of Kinmen had once been a natural barrier to invasion, they could now be easily breached by Beijing and its powerful arsenal of missiles, fighter planes and aircraft carriers. Beijing which, to achieve its goal of unification, could, according to experts, decide to invade some or all of the archipelagos off Taiwan.

If the islands of Kinmen and Matsu are a few kilometers from the Chinese coast, a step further would be the takeover of the Penghu archipelago, much closer to Taiwan, about 50 km from the main island. “If the People’s Liberation Army succeeded in occupying it, it would allow them to gain a foothold in order to carry out short-range assaults and have air superiority,” said former Admiral Lee Hsi-min, who led the Taiwanese armed forces until 2019. According to a report by the US Naval War College, the “stage strategy” (stop before attacking the main island) would allow Beijing to use annexations to exert pressure psychology on Taipei.

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