Taiwan's Premier Su Tseng-chang on Sunday accused Beijing of "arrogantly" using military action to disrupt peace and mounting a campaign of psychological warfare against the self-ruled island as 66 Chnese war planes were reported in the Strait of Taiwan.
He also urged Beijing not to flex its military muscle following apparent cyberattacks in Taiwan.
While on a visit to Bangladesh Sunday, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said Taiwan is a part of China, not the US. The admonishment comes on the heels of a controversial visit to Taipei by US Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.
His remarks come as Chinese planes, ships and drones continue massive military maneuvers around the island. According to information released by the Chinese military, their closest warship is less than 12 kilometers (7.5 miles) from Taiwan's shores.
Separately, a source cited by the Reuters news agency said around 10 warships each from both sides sailed at close quarters in the Taiwan Strait. Taiwanese officials have also said some Chinese vessels crossed the median line, an unofficial buffer separating the two sides.
Taipei has remained defiant, declaring that it will not be cowed by its "evil neighbor."
Beijing sees the island as part of its own territory. The Chinese exercises, which began on Thursday, were scheduled to last until midday on Sunday, according to the Chinese Xinhua news agency.
Taiwan's Defense Ministry said on Saturday its forces scrambled jets to warn away 20 Chinese aircraft, including 14 that crossed the median line.
It also detected 14 Chinese ships conducting activities around the Taiwan Strait. The ministry released a photograph showing Taiwanese sailors closely watching a nearby Chinese vessel.
Taiwan also said its shore-based anti-ship missiles and its Patriot surface-to-air-missiles were on standby.
China insists its relations with Taiwan are an internal matter and has warned that it might use force to bring the island under its control. Taiwan rejects the former claim.
Pelosi visit kicks off crisis
The Chinese military launched the drills launched in reaction to a visit to Taiwan by the US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Pelosi arrived in Taiwan in an unannounced — yet highly anticipated — visit on Tuesday, despite Chinese protests.
She is the highest-ranking US politician to visit Taiwan in 25 years.
Pelosi called the island "one of the freest societies in the world" and expressed the United States' "unwavering" support for the country.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry said Pelosi's visit was damaging stability in the Taiwan Strait.
US calls for restraint
As part of its response to Pelosi's visit, China has halted communication through various channels with the United States, including between Chinese and US military commanders. Beijing also suspended cooperation on climate change, while at the same time warning the US not to act rashly.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Saturday that China should not hold talks "hostage" when it comes to issues of global concern, including climate change. He said Washington was "determined to act responsibly" to avoid a major global crisis.
Meanwhile, Taiwan's Transport Ministry said flights through its airspace had gradually resumed on Sunday about noon, as most notifications for Chinese military drills near the island were "no longer in effect."
The last time China fired missiles near Taiwan was in 1996 during the "Third Taiwan Strait Crisis." This crisis was prompted by Taiwan's president at the time, Lee Teng-hui, visiting the US.
ss/dj (Reuters, AFP)