Chinese Missile Lands In Japan’s Waters During Taiwan Military Drill Could Spark War (Photos)

Chinese missiles fired towards Taiwan have landed in Japanese waters, Tokyo says, as Beijing ignored warnings that a miscalculation could spark war to hold its largest-ever live-fire drills around the island. 

Five out of nine ballistic missiles launched by China landed in Japan’s ‘exclusive economic zone’, the country’s defence minister said today, adding that he had lodged a protest with Beijing.

The island of Yonaguni, which belongs to Japan, sits around 70 miles off Taiwan’s eastern coast and Japan’s ‘economic zone’ – waters in which it has special rights – covers about half the distance between the two. China has fired ballistic missiles at its neighbour before, but this is the first time they have landed in the Japanese zone.

Taiwan says China fired a total of 11 ballistic missiles into waters off its south-western and north-eastern coasts today, in several salvos that began around 2pm local time and lasted until 4pm. 

Beijing also scrambled fighter jets and sent some of its most up-to-date warships to surround the island, in what state media said is a rehearsal for an invasion. The drills are due to last until Sunday, and are due to including long-range bombers and hypersonic missiles. China’s two aircraft carriers are also holding position nearby.

American forces – including the USS Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier which is forward-deployed with the Pacific Fleet – are thought to be lurking nearby, while missile-tracking spy planes have been sent to watch over the drills. 

Xi Jinping announced the exercises using US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s trip to the island – which took place from Tuesday and Wednesday – as an excuse. She is the most-senior politician to visit since Newt Gingrich in 1997, but her trip came shortly after a Senate delegation visit drew no response.

Related video

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.