China Military Drills Updates: Hackers Take Aim at University Websites

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China Military Drills Taiwan
A Taiwanese F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter jet lands at Hualien Air Force Base on August 06, 2022 in Hualien, Taiwan. Annabelle Chih/Getty Images

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Hackers Take Aim at University Websites

At least two Taiwan university websites were hacked and vandalized on Sunday night, according to local media reports.

Both the Office of Academic Affairs and Office of Research and Development pages for National Taiwan University were impacted. The landing pages of each were vandalized with a message that read, "There is only one China in the world," according to reports by Taiwan News and the government controlled Central News Agency.

Both websites were temporarily shuttered and remained out of service Monday morning as administrative officials worked to address the security issues.

The number of cyberattacks targeting Taiwan increased in the days before and after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi led a congressional delegation to Taiwan for a visit. The responsibility for some of those attacks has been claimed by a Chinese hacking group known as APT27, according to Taiwan News.

Rep. Meeks Says House 'Stands With' Taiwan

Representative Gregory Meeks, the chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said the U.S. House of Representatives "stands with the people of Taiwan" in a Monday evening tweet.

Meeks, who traveled to Taiwan last week as part of a congressional delegation led by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, addressed criticisms of that trip during a Monday appearance on CBS News' Face the Nation. During that appearance, Meeks pushed back against suggestions by Chinese government officials who said the U.S. "provoked" China's military action in the Taiwan Strait through their trip to the region last week.

The trip was "very appropriate," Meeks said, adding that other members of Congress have visited Taiwan earlier this year. The people of Taiwan were "appreciative of us being there," he said, with thousands of people tracking the delegation's flight to the island and lining the streets in welcome once they arrived. He said the tallest building in Taiwan had been outfitted with a sign that read, "We love you, Nancy Pelosi."

"This was nothing unusual," Meeks said of the visit. "We are going to stand by our friends, our partners and our allies, and clearly Taiwan is one of those."

Former Ambassador Says Pelosi Visit a 'Mistake'

Former U.S. Ambassador to China Max Baucus said he thinks House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's trip to Taiwan last week was "a mistake."

Baucus, who served as an ambassador to China during former President Barack Obama's administration, addressed heightened tensions between China and Taiwan while speaking with CBS News on Monday. He said it was his "view" that Pelosi "should not have gone" to Taiwan. Her trip "ratcheted up the tension," he said.

U.S. policy goals in regards to China are to "reduce tension, not increase tension," he said.

"Almost all China experts I talked to feel it was a mistake. She should not have gone," Baucus said. "I think it was a mistake."

The former ambassador went on to recognize Pelosi's leadership position in the House and said, "she is who she is" and ultimately "decided to go."

"It's unfortunate," he said.

China Calls Pelosi Visit a 'Provocation'

A spokesperson for China's embassy in South Africa disputed U.S. officials' description of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's recent visit to Taiwan as "peaceful."

The embassy spokesperson was asked about Pelosi's visit following comments made by U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken earlier Monday. Blinken answered questions about the escalating tension between China and Taiwan while meeting with South African Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Naledi Pandor in South Africa. Blinken referred to Pelosi's visit to Taiwan at that time as "peaceful."

The embassy spokesperson said Pelosi's visit was a "serious violation" of the One China policy and thus a "major political provocation" that necessitated a response from China. In contrast, U.S. officials on Monday described China's military exercises in the Taiwan Strait as unnecessary and said the developing situation there was a "manufactured crisis."

The embassy spokesperson said the idea of Pelosi's visit being "unofficial" was "self-deceptive and preposterous."

"Pelosi's illegitimate visit to Taiwan has grossly infringed on China's sovereignty, interfered in China's internal affairs, violated the commitments made by the US side, and jeopardized peace and stability across the Taiwan Straits," the spokesperson said.

They added that, before Pelosi arrived in Taiwan, China "made it clear" that they were "firmly opposed" to her plans and "warned the U.S. side that if it continued to go down the wrong path, it would have to bear all the consequences arising therefrom."

Blinken Says China's Actions Punish the Entire World

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said China's actions in the Taiwan Strait are affecting the entire world.

The increase in military actions and the lack of cooperation with the United States will have negative global impacts, Blinken said during a press conference with his counterpart in South Africa.

He said China's decision to cancel talks with the U.S. on dealing with climate change doesn't punish the U.S., "that's punishing the entire world, especially the developing world."

This is particularly important, he added, as the United States and China are the two biggest emitters of greenhouse gases in the world.

Blinken South Africa
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken (L), accompanied by South Africa's Foreign Minister Naledi Pandor (R), speaks during a news conference after meeting together at the South African Department of International Relations and Cooperation in Pretoria, South Africa, on August 8, 2022. Blinken is on a ten day trip to Cambodia, Philippines, South Africa, Congo, and Rwanda. ANDREW HARNIK/POOL//AFP via Getty Images

U.S. Spy Agencies Pivot Focus to China

U.S. spy agencies are shifting their attention to threats posed by China, according to reports by the Associated Press.

Unnamed CIA officials addressed their shift in focus during a meeting held one year after the U.S. pulled troops out of Afghanistan. Spy agencies will reportedly continue to direct resources toward addressing threats posed by extremist groups and terrorism at large as they have since 9/11.

Terrorism "remains a very real challenge," CIA spokesperson Tammy Thorpe told the AP. She said the CIA "will continue to aggressively track terrorist threats globally and work with partners to counter them."

Even as spy agencies like the CIA identify combatting terrorism as an ongoing point of focus, officials said more time and resources will now go toward addressing threats posed by both China and Russia. Part of that shift in focus has been encouraged by members of Congress, according to the AP.

Some working within the intelligence community have reportedly moved from terrorism-focused positions to positions focused on China, with hundreds of new people now directing their attention to China-related issues. Plans for two new China-focused "mission centers" were announced last year, and the CIA is also continuing efforts to bring more people onboard who speak Chinese.

China has been a concern in the U.S. for years on the political and economic fronts. Its recent military exercises in the Taiwan Strait, a reaction to U.S. House Nancy Pelosi's visit to Taiwan last week, revived the conversation about where the U.S. stands on China. Department of Defense officials have said the U.S. remains committed to the One China policy but added the U.S. does not support military action taken by China against Taiwan.

Singapore Says US-China Relations Will Create 'Turbulence'

Singapore's prime minister said the rising U.S.-China tensions will create a decade of "turbulence" in the region.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said Singapore needs to strengthen its defenses as the Indo-Pacific region will become less stable and less peaceful.

"U.S.-China relations are worsening, with intractable issues, deep suspicions, and limited engagement between them," he said in an annual address. "Furthermore, miscalculations or mishaps can easily make things much worse."

"Singapore will be buffeted by intense rivalry and tensions in the region around us," Lee added, referring to Russia's war in Ukraine.

Lee said that Singapore tightened its exchange rate and strengthened the Singapore dollar to tackle immediate economic challenges.

"Singapore's deeper response to this shift must be to transform our industry, upgrade our skills and raise our productivity," he said.

China Blasts Blinken for 'Overreaction' Comments

The Chinese Embassy in South Africa has responded to comments U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken made during an interview in South Africa.

Ahead of his meeting with South African Foreign Minister Naledi Pandor, Blinken told South Africa's eNCA that he will not force South Africa to choose between the U.S. and China, or anyone else.

He added that China's response to U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's "peaceful" visit to Taiwan is an "overreaction."

Blinken also condemned China's military response in the Indo-Pacific and its decision to cancel U.S.-China talks over climate change, which he said is not just punishing the United States, "that's punishing the entire world."

The Chinese Embassy in South Africa condemned Blinken's comments in a statement Monday.

The embassy said Pelosi's "illegitimate" visit violated the one-China policy and has "grossly infringed" on China's sovereignty, interfered in China's internal affairs, violated U.S. commitments and "jeopardized peace and stability across the Taiwan Straits."

"We had warned the U.S. side that if it continued to go down the wrong path, it would have to bear all the consequences arising therefrom," the embassy said in a statement. "The U.S. made a malicious provocation first, and China has been compelled to act in self-defense."

The embassy said this "false accusation of overreaction of the Chinese side" is "nothing but a despicable way of distorting facts and shifting blames."

"All the countermeasures taken by the Chinese are justified, necessary and appropriate," the embassy said.

U.S. Says China 'Manufactured' Crisis

China's actions in the Taiwan Strait are "manufactured" and "completely unnecessary," Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Colin Kahl said Monday during a press briefing at the Pentagon.

Kahl said the U.S. has not changed its support of the One China policy, nor do U.S. officials believe China will take Taiwan over militarily in the next few years.

"We don't support China using its military actions against Taiwan. We don't support Taiwan moving towards independence. Our policy has not changed its support for the status quo. China's policy is what's changed," Kahl said, adding that China is trying to "salami-slice their way into a new status quo."

China is "trying to coerce" both Taiwan and the international community, Kahl said.

"All I'll say is, we're not going to take the bait, and it's not going to work," he said. "It's a manufactured crisis. That doesn't mean we have to play into that. I think it would only play to Beijing's advantage."

Kahl was asked about the developing situation between China and Taiwan several times during the Monday briefing. He reiterated the Defense Department's support of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's visit to Taiwan last week, which prompted China's last several days of military exercises in the Taiwan Strait.

China "clearly" was not "happy" with Pelosi's visit, Kahl said, but "nothing about the visit changed one iota of the U.S. government's policy toward Taiwan or toward China."

Kahl said China's reaction to Pelosi's Taiwan visit was not surprising. Pelosi "had every right" to go to Taiwan, Kahl said, adding that the Department of Defense was committed to providing Pelosi with "the support required" once she confirmed that the trip was happening.

After Pelosi traveled to Taiwan, Kahl said China carried out missile exercises and other live fire demonstrations. China also boosted its air and naval military activities in the Strait, he said.

Kahl declined to say whether Chinese aircraft or missiles have flown over Taiwan, saying those answers depended on the lock and trajectory of each object and that he did not "have the physics of it" in front of him in that moment.

Chinese Media Mock Pelosi in Political Cartoons

Chinese media continue to show disapproval for U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's trip to Taiwan.

Several Chinese media outlets have mocked Pelosi with a series of unflattering political cartoons. The cartoons blast Pelosi and the United States for supporting Taiwanese democracy and interfering in Chinese internal affairs.

One cartoon published in the Xinhua News Agency showed a caricature of Pelosi with six arms emerging from her hair, indicating the "six sins" she committed by visiting Taiwan. Those "sins" include meddling in China's internal affairs, undermining peace and reneging on past commitments.

Another cartoon from T-House depicted Pelosi as a witch giving Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen a drink from a bubbling cauldron with "Taiwan Independence." In the cartoon, Pelosi is pouring out the liquid from her own glass.

The state-owned Global Times newspaper published a cartoon of Pelosi carrying sticks of dynamite as Tsai rolls out a red carpet along a cliff.

In the cartoon, Tsai says. "This way, your excellency!"

CGTN also shared a cartoon that showed Pelosi saying one thing at an official podium, then doing the opposite.

Several Chinese government officials have also shared political cartoons blasting the U.S. and Pelosi on their Twitter accounts.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Ljian Zhao compared the U.S. push for democracy in Taiwan to the military efforts to protect democracy in Cuba, Afghanistan and Iraq.

UN Chief Expresses 'Serious Concern'

United Nations (UN) Secretary-General António Guterres said he has "serious concern" about the situation developing between China and Taiwan.

Guterres called for "de-escalation" in the wake of China's military drills near Taiwan, which have been carried out in the days after U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited the island. Though Guterres said the UN stands by the "One China" policy, he said the status of Taiwan is unsettled.

Guterres was asked about the situation on Monday while visiting Japan. Guterres was there to speak about concerns regarding nuclear weapons on the 77th anniversary of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings.

A joint statement from Guterres and Japanese Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi said they have "serious concern about the tense situation in the region and concurred on the importance of de-escalating the tension," according to the Associated Press.

During a Monday press conference at the Japan National Press Club, Guterres reiterated his concern about ongoing tensions between China and Taiwan. He said the UN "abides by the resolution of the General Assembly, with the so-called one China policy" but added that "we all want that resolution to correspond to a peaceful environment in relation to this question." Guterres said Taiwan's status in the region is unsettled, according to the AP.

Guterres then encouraged "common sense" and "restraint" in the region, which he said can lead to "de-escalation."

"I think it's very important to appeal first of all to common sense," he said. "This is a sensitive question. It needs to be treated with common sense and then restraint, allowing for de-escalation that I believe will be extremely important in the days and times to come."

Antonio Guterres at Japan National Press Club
UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres speaks during a press conference at the Japan National Press Club on August 8, 2022 in Tokyo, Japan. Franck Robichon - Pool/Getty Images

WATCH: Pentagon Press Briefing

The U.S. Department of Defense is holding a press briefing soon.

Under Secretary of Defense Colin Kahl will brief the media from the Pentagon at 2 p.m. ET.

Watch live on the Department of Defense's website.

China Says One-China Policy is 'Crystal Clear'

The Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs said the one-China principle is "crystal-clear."

"There is only one China in the world, Taiwan is part of China, and the government of the People's Republic of China is the sole legal government representing the whole of China," Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin said Monday.

Wenbin said the policy is a "prevailing international consensus and widely accepted basic norm in international relations."

"The one-China principle is also the political foundation for the establishment and development of diplomatic relations between China and countries in the world," he said. "The applicability of the one-China principle should be universal, unconditional and indisputable."

He called on all countries who have diplomatic relations with China and who are members of the United Nations to adhere to the one-China principle.

Wenbin also said that some countries have added preconditions and provisions to the one-China policy in "an attempt to distort, fudge and hollow out their one-China commitment," in an apparent reference to U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's Taiwan trip.

"This is illegal, null and void," he added."

China Releases Video Showing Drills

China on Monday released a video that showed some of its recent military exercises near Taiwan.

The video, which exceeded one minute in length, was released by China's Eastern Theater Command. It showed joint exercises involving military aircraft that Chinese government officials said were carried out on Sunday.

On Monday, Taiwan's Ministry of National Defense said it detected 39 aircraft and 13 vessels near Taiwan. Of those 39 aircraft, 21 traveled "on the east part of the median line of the Taiwan Strait and our SW ADIZ," paths that the ministry outlined on a map.

Military officials "monitored the situation and responded to these activities with aircraft in CAP, naval vessels, and land-based missile systems," the ministry said.

On Sunday, the ministry said it had detected 14 vessels and 66 aircraft, 22 of which it said flew along the eastern part of the median line.

Companies Clarify Taiwan Stance Amid Backlash

Chinese companies have distanced themselves from discussing the tensions between China and Taiwan amid backlash in state media.

Social media users in China have criticized companies and celebrities who showed support for Taiwan's independence, according to Reuters.

Foshan Haitian Flavoring and Food Co Ltd, China's largest soy sauce marker, issued an apology saying it fired an employee who garnered negative attention online for making a private post that celebrated U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's Taiwan visit.

"The inappropriate content published seriously goes against Haitian's culture, does not match with Haitian's values, and has hurt the feelings of the Chinese people, producing a negative societal influence," the company said on its Weibo account Saturday, promising it would manage its employees better.

Asia-focused asset manager Matthews International Capital Management also issued a clarification Monday.

A Beijing-backed Hong Kong newspaper said the company was founded by Pelosi's husband.

The company said the allegations were "factually incorrect," noting that it was founded by Paul Matthews, not Paul Pelosi, and said it does not have any ties to William Hambrecht, a friend and political supporter of Pelosi.

"We take the recent misreporting and false statements about our firm very seriously and are working with media outlets to take prompt corrective action," Matthews said.

Chinese state media warned companies that they could be cut off from China's economy if they express support for Taiwan or Pelosi.

"It can be expected that if any ties of interest with China can be found in the business activities of Pelosi and her immediate family members, they will definitely be cut off," the Global Times, a state-backed newspaper, said in an editorial over the weekend.

Biden is 'Not Worried' About China

President Joe Biden said he is "not worried" about the situation with China, but is concerned about the escalating military action around Taiwan.

"I'm not worried, but I'm concerned that they're [China] moving as much as they are," Biden told a pool of reporters Monday morning. "But I don't think they're going to do anything more than they are."

When asked if it was wise for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to go to Taiwan last week, Biden said "that was her decision."

Biden Pool Reporters
President Joe Biden speaks to the media before boarding Air Force One for a trip to Kentucky to view flood damage, Monday, Aug. 8, 2022, in Dover Air Force Base, Del. Evan Vucci/AP Photo

Chinese Official Calls Drills the 'New Normal'

China calls continued military drills around Taiwan the "new normal."

Chinese officials announced the People's Liberation Army will extend its military drill schedule this week.

"Drills like these will not stop and are expected to become routine until reunification," Li Bijian, the Consul General of China to Karachi, said in a tweet, quoting experts in a Global Times Article.