US commander says Chinese missile fire near Taiwan ‘needs response’ – News

China’s decision to fire missiles around Taiwan needs a response, a US military commander in Singapore said.

The People’s Army of China carried out major sea and air maneuvers around the island, such as the launching ballistic missiles in waters close to the territory.

“It is very important that we respond to this type of action,” US Seventh Fleet Vice Admiral Karl Thomas told reporters in Singapore.

“If we allow this to happen and we don’t respond, that will be the norm later,” he said. “It is irresponsible to launch missiles at Taiwan in international waters where sea lanes and free navigation operate,” she added.

The Seventh Fleet is based in Japan and constitutes an essential element of the American naval presence in the Pacific.

Tension in the region increased with the US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi visits Taiwanwhich angered Beijing.

Although de facto separated since 1949, China considers the island part of its territory and has promised to unify it someday, including by force if necessary.

Vice Admiral Thomas drew a parallel between the threat to Taiwan and Beijing’s behavior in the South China Sea, where the country claims almost complete sovereignty.

“If you don’t challenge … suddenly it can happen like the islands in the South China Sea, which became Beijing’s military outposts,” said the vice admiral.

“Now they are fully functioning military posts that have missiles, large runways, hangars, radars and listening posts,” he added.

Understand the historic tension between China and Taiwan in seven points

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