China Military Drills Updates: Kirby Says U.S., China Militaries Still in Communication

Live Updates
  • China continued its military exercises on Friday, with the official Weibo account of the Eastern Theatre Command of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) saying China's military conducted air and sea combat drills to the north, southwest and east of Taiwan.
  • In a sign of growing fallout between the U.S. and China over House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's visit to to Taiwan this week, Beijing has halted cooperation with Washington in eight areas, including climate and military issues.
  • In another retaliatory move, China announced sanctions against Pelosi.
  • China said Friday more than 100 warplanes and 10 warships have taken part in live-fire military drills.
  • The U.S. summoned Chinese ambassador Qin Gang to the White House "to démarche him about the PRC's provocative actions" against Taiwan.

The live updates for this blog have ended.

Kirby Says U.S., China Militaries Still in Communication

The United States is "not seeking a crisis" with China in the Indo-Pacific, White House National Security Council Coordinator for Strategic Communications spokesman John Kirby said Friday.

Kirby said China's move to cancel or pause a series of U.S.-China talks following U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's trip to Taiwan has not totally disrupted military communications.

"These channels they took down don't eliminate the opportunity for senior members of the military to communicate," he told reporters Friday.

He added that in times of tension, it is important to have these military communication channels open.

Kirby said China's decision to halt climate change talks with the U.S. is "irresponsible."

"We believe this is fundamentally irresponsible," he said. "China is not punishing just the U.S., it's punishing the whole world."

Despite China pausing key lines of dialogue with the U.S., Kirby said senior U.S. officials have been meeting regularly with Chinese counterparts over the dispute.

He also called China's actions "provocative."

"We also made clear that the United States is prepared for what Beijing chooses to do," Kirby added.

Businessman Pledges $100M for Taiwan

A Taiwanese businessman said on Friday that he will invest an amount equivalent to about $100 million to help Taiwan's defense against China.

Robert Tsao, who co-founded the Taiwanese microchip company United Microelectronics Corporation, made his announcement during a Friday press conference in Taipei. Tsao said he intended to invest 3 billion New Taiwan dollars, or about $100 million, to support Taiwan's defense efforts in the wake of China's military escalation in the region.

Tsao, whom the Taipei Times reported traded in his Republic of China citizenship upon moving to Singapore more than 10 years ago, described China's recent military exercises as "unbearable insolence."

Tsao told reporters he was not yet sure how all of the money should be used but said the investment was intended for defense education purposes, as well as for directly combatting cyberattacks perpetrated by China, the paper reported.

In addition to the comments Tsao made during his press conference, he released a statement encouraging resistance to China's efforts.

Tsao said in his statement that he did not mean for his investment in Taiwan's defense to be "for the sake of fame or fortune" or an indication of an interest in politics, the paper reported. "I just hate the CCP's lies and violence, and hope to leave a piece of pure land and a blue sky in Taiwan for those who speak Chinese," he said.

China Warns U.S. Not to 'Act Rashly'

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi further condemned U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's trip to Taiwan earlier this week.

He said it was a "serious mistake" for then-U.S. Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich to visit Taiwan 25 years ago.

"The Chinese government has strongly opposed it," Wang said. "The United States does not have any right or qualification to do the same wrong and make the same mistake again. Past mistakes cannot be used as an excuse to repeat them today."

Wang also warned that the U.S. should not act rashly and create a bigger crisis, according to Chinese state media.

Wang said earlier that China "firmly opposes" the G7 statement condemning Chinese military exercises in the Taiwan Strait.

He said the statement confounds the right with the wrong and confuses black and white.

"It blatantly props up the infringer and mounts the pressure on rights defenders," he told reports. "Where is justice? And what are the basic norms governing international relations?"

Wang said that if this tone is allowed to continue, regional peace and world peace will be "seriously damaged."

"I believe that this so-called G7 'statement' is just a sheer piece of wasted paper," he added.

Pelosi Had 'Right' to Visit Taiwan, WH Repeats

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi "had every right" to visit Taiwan during her visit to the Indo-Pacific region this week.

"The Speaker had every right," Jean-Pierre told reporters during a Friday afternoon press briefing at the White House. "It is her right to have gone to Taiwan."

The White House does not tell members of Congress where they can or cannot travel, Jean-Pierre said, though she said the White House does provide a "full, thorough briefing when they do travel."

Jean-Pierre said there was "precedent" for members of Congress to visit Taiwan. She referenced the 1997 visit by then-House Speaker Newt Gingrich, the last U.S. House Speaker to visit the island.

"Again, she had every right," Jean-Pierre said of Pelosi. "There's precedent for it."

The press secretary said President Joe Biden's administration condemns China for its military escalation near Taiwan, which followed Pelosi's visit. That escalation is "fundamentally irresponsible," she said.

"There was no reason to have this escalation that we're seeing from China," Jean-Pierre said. The White House will "continue our efforts to keep open lines of communication with Beijing while defending our interests and values in the region," she said, adding later that "nothing has changed about our One China policy."

Karine Jean-Pierre August 5 briefing
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre answers questions during the daily briefing at the White House on August 5, 2022 in Washington, D.C. Win McNamee/Getty Images

UN Says Climate Solutions Rest on US-China Cooperation

The United Nations warned that solving climate change is impossible without cooperation between the United States and China.

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said there is "no way to solve the most pressing problems of all the world without an effective dialogue and cooperation" between the two countries, according to a U.N. spokesperson.

This comes after China announced it was suspending talks with the U.S. on climate change in response to U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's trip to Taiwan earlier this week.

U.S. and Chinese officials were prepared to discuss climate issues in the lead up to the COP27 climate summit in Egypt in November.

WATCH: White House Press Briefing

The daily White House press briefing is now underway with press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre.

Watch live on the White House YouTube channel or below:

Taiwan Foreign Minister Defends Pelosi's Visit

Taiwan's foreign minister said U.S. Secretary of State Nancy Pelosi's visit was "extremely significant."

In an interview with BBC, Joseph Wu said Pelosi's trip brought attention to the island of Taiwan.

"China has long been trying to isolate Taiwan internationally," Wu said. "For an important leader like Speaker Pelosi to have the opportunity to visit Taiwan is very significant. To raise the profile of Taiwan and to allow the international community to understand that Taiwan is a democracy."

He also condemned the Chinese military exercises around the island, saying China seeks to changes the status quo in the region.

"We want to maintain the status quo," he said. "Which is that Taiwan has no jurisdiction over mainland China and the People's Republic of China (CCP) has no jurisdiction over Taiwan. That is the reality."

Wu also boasted about Taiwan's strong democracy.

"On the index of freedom Taiwan is ranked number one, on economic freedom Taiwan is also at the top," he said. "Taiwanese people enjoy democracy, freedom and the value of human rights, that put Taiwan in the democratic world."

He added that defending Taiwan is "our own responsibility."

"We have the will and the capability," Wu said. "We need other countries to provide Taiwan with defensive articles, but defending Taiwan is our responsibility, we are not asking other countries to sacrifice their lives to protect Taiwan."

Joseph Wu Pelosi
In this photo released by Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, left, speaks with Taiwan's Foreign Minister Joseph Wu as she prepares to leave in Taipei, Taiwan, Wednesday, Aug. 3, 2022. Taiwan Ministry of Foreign Affairs via AP

Apple Issues 'Taiwan' Label Warning, Reports

Apple is reportedly advising its suppliers on how they are to label products made in Taiwan.

The tech company's warning was first reported Friday by the Tokyo-based Nikkei.

The warning reportedly applies to products traveling to China from Taiwan. All Apple products that make that journey are to be labeled in a way that identifies them as being made in either Chinese Taipei or in Taiwan, China, the paper reported. Labels that comply with these guidelines will thus identify Taiwan as a part of China in accordance with China's policy.

Apple's reported warning came as Snickers maker Mars Wrigley was under fire for identifying Taiwan as a country in a product advertisement. After facing criticism from social media users in China, the chocolate maker later apologized for the wording in its ad.

Snickers Maker Apologizes for Taiwan Ad

Chocolate maker Mars Wrigley apologized on Friday for a Snickers advertisement campaign that included Taiwan on a list of countries where it said a new product would be available for purchase.

The ad was for a Snickers bar that Mars Wrigley advertised as being exclusively available in three "countries": Malaysia, South Korea and Taiwan. Social media users in China posted objections to Taiwan's inclusion on that short list of countries on Weibo, according to Reuters.

Mars Wrigley later posted an apology on Weibo that said it "respects China's national sovereignty and territorial integrity and conducts its business operations in strict compliance with local Chinese laws and regulations," according to the Wall Street Journal..

Zhang Meifang, China's consulate general in Belfast, acknowledged the apology with a Friday tweet saying the company declared its "local team has verified & aligned the official site & social media accounts to ensure accurate content."

The apology came as tensions were heightening between China and Taiwan following a visit from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Chinese Official Invokes George Floyd, Blasts U.S.

The Chinese foreign ministry invoked George Floyd as it continues to accuse the United States of being the "unprovoked provocateur and creator of the crisis" in the Taiwan Strait.

"We cannot allow the U.S. to take itself as 'world policeman' and treat other countries as George Floyd whom it can bully and strangle at will," Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs Hua Chunying said in a tweet.

Hua added that China's actions are "justified, necessary and proportionate," as China acted in "legitimate self-defense" of its sovereignty.

"We had repeatedly warned the U.S. through various channels of the severe harm this visit could cause," she said. "However, the U.S. turned a deaf ear to all of those and just let the visit happen."

Hua accused the United States of making similar pretexts in the past, in places like Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan, "to picture other countries as threats and, sometimes even without any valid reason, to blatantly launch military strikes and even unleash wars on sovereign countries."

China's response to the U.S.'s "reckless and irresponsible behavior" was necessary to uphold the U.N. Charter, Hua said. If not, the basic norms in international relations "will become nothing but words on paper."

Hua said China has "historically been a victim of foreign aggression" and called on the U.S. to immediately stop interfering in China's internal affairs and arming Taiwan.

"Today, the U.S. still grossly interferes in China's internal affairs and attempts to undermine China's sovereignty and security from time to time," she said.

Pelosi Leaves Japan, Wraps Asia Trip

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's visit to the Indo-Pacific region ends today following meetings with leaders in Japan.

As the congressional delegation was wrapping its final stop in Japan, Pelosi spoke of their "productive" and "very impressive" meetings with leaders there.

The alliance the U.S. has with Japan is "the cornerstone of security, prosperity & peace – in the Indo-Pacific and in the world," Pelosi tweeted. She and the rest of the congressional delegation took photos with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, with whom she said it was "a privilege" to "discuss how we can further deepen our bonds & together confront challenges and seize opportunities."

During a Friday press conference in Tokyo, Pelosi described the delegation's other stops along the way as "positive."

"In all cases, each of the countries we visited, we had very positive conversations and great respect for what they are doing in their countries, great candor in how we thought each of us could do better in our countries," Pelosi said. "And we were very honored to be received so well in the region."

The delegation's stop in Taiwan has been controversial, with China launching military drills near Taiwan following the visit and sanctioning Pelosi. Pelosi addressed China's recent actions, saying China was "probably using our visit as an excuse" to begin its military exercises. China has "tried to isolate Taiwan," she said, "but they will not isolate Taiwan by preventing us to travel there."

The delegation led by Pelosi left for its visit to the region on July 31. Pelosi and other members of Congress traveled to Singapore, Malaysia, Taiwan and South Korea before reaching Japan, their final destination.

Before the delegation left, Pelosi said the trip would "focus on mutual security, economic partnership and democratic governance" in the region.

Congressional delegation leaves Japan
Japan's Prime Minister Fumio Kishida (front, 3rd R), U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (front, 3rd L), US Ambassador to Japan Rahm Emanuel (front, 2nd R), and members of U.S. House of Representatives pose for a photo session at the prime minister's official residence in Tokyo on August 5, 2022. STR/JAPAN POOL / JIJI PRESS/AFP via Getty Images

Blinken Calls China's Actions a 'Significant Escalation'

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken called China's missile launch in the Taiwan Strait "a significant escalation."

"These provocative actions are a significant escalation," he said during a press conference at the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in Cambodia.

"We've seen how Beijing has attempted to change the status quo on Taiwan for some time," he said, noting the increase in aircraft flights, economic coercion, political interference and cyber-attacks against Taiwan.

Now, Blinken said, "they've taken dangerous acts to a new level."

He said the U.S. conveyed to China that it does not seek and will not provoke a crisis.

Bliken said China overreacted and used House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's "peaceful" Taiwan visit "as a pretext to increase provocative military activity in and around the Taiwan Strait."

"There is no justification for this extreme, disproportionate, and escalatory military response," he said.

Blinken also reiterated that nothing has changed about the U.S. one-China policy.

"We don't want unilateral changes to the status quo from either side," he said. "We do not support Taiwan independence. We expect cross-strait differences to be resolved peacefully, not coercively or by force."

The United States will not be provoked, he said, and will continue to support cross-strait peace, stability and a free and open Indo-Pacific and stand with allies in the region.

Blinken said he last spoke with his Chinese counterpart weeks ago in Bali.

He said he was "extremely clear" with Foreign Minister Wang Yi at the time that Pelosi's possible visit to Taiwan should not be used a pretext for escalation "or other actions that China has now, in fact, taken."

During a meeting of ASEAN foreign ministers, Blinken said he reiterated those points. He also said he spoke directly with his Chinese counterparts that there is no possible justification for what they've done, and urged them to cease these actions.

Blinken said it is incumbent on China to resolve tensions in the region peacefully, without coercion or force.

"But what we've seen in the last couple of years is China moving in that direction," he said. "And what we're hearing from countries around the region is that that's the last thing that they want."

Blinken ASEAN
Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks at a news conference at Raffles Hotel Le Royal in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Friday, Aug. 5, 2022. Blinken is on a ten day trip to Cambodia, Philippians, South Africa, Congo, and Rwanda Andrew Harnik, Pool/AP Photo

China Issues Countermeasures Against the U.S.

China said it has halted communication with the United States over U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's trip to Taiwan earlier this week.

The Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced a series of countermeasures against the U.S., including:

  • Canceling China-U.S. Theater Commanders Talk
  • Canceling China-U.S. Defense Policy Coordination Talks (DPCT)
  • Canceling China-U.S. Military Maritime Consultative Agreement (MMCA) meetings
  • Suspending China-U.S. cooperation on the repatriation of illegal immigrants
  • Suspending China-U.S. cooperation on legal assistance in criminal matters
  • Suspending China-U.S. cooperation against transnational crimes
  • Suspending China-U.S. counternarcotics cooperation
  • Suspending China-U.S. talks on climate change

China Sanctions Pelosi Over Taiwan Trip

The Chinese government has taken a series of "countermeasures" against the United States in response to U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's Taiwan visit earlier this week.

In addition to canceling or suspending talks with the U.S. over climate, defense and other policies, the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs has also issued sanctions against Pelosi and her family.

"In response to Pelosi's egregious provocation, China decides to adopt sanctions on Pelosi and her immediate family members in accordance with relevant laws of the People's Republic of China," the ministry said in a statement.

The ministry said Pelosi's trip "constitutes a gross interference" in China's internal affairs.

"It gravely undermines China's sovereignty and territorial integrity, seriously tramples on the one-China principle, and severely threatens peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait," the ministry said.

Taiwan 'Open to Constructive Dialogue': Tsai Ing-wen

In a video released by Taiwan's defense ministry on Friday evening, Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen said that the island is "open to constructive dialogue" with Beijing.

"Peace in the Taiwan Strait is the shared responsibility of everyone in the region," she said. "We are doing our utmost to uphold the cross-strait status quo, and we remain open to constructive dialogue."

She added: "We are calm and will not act in haste, we are rational and will not act to provoke, but we will absolutely not back down.

"Here, I want to call upon the international community to support democratic Taiwan and come together to put a halt to these unilateral and irrational military actions."

Pelosi and Tsai Ing-wen
Speaker of the U.S. House Of Representatives Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), left, poses for photographs with Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen, right, at the president's office on August 03, 2022 in Taipei, Taiwan. Pelosi arrived in Taiwan on Tuesday as part of a tour of Asia aimed at reassuring allies in the region, as China made it clear that her visit to Taiwan would be seen in a negative light. HANDOUT/GETTY

Biden, Taiwan and China in Tougher Spot After Pelosi Trip

U.S. President Joe Biden, Taiwan, and China have been left in an even tougher spot following House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's trip to Taiwan, former U.S. officials told Newsweek.

Max Baucus, who served as U.S. ambassador to China under former President Barack Obama from 2014 to 2017, told Newsweek that Pelosi's trip "was a mistake" and "ill-advised."

"Bottom line, the U.S. foreign policy with respect to China should be to lower tensions, not increase tensions," Baucus said. "And Pelosi's visit clearly increased tension between the U.S and China."

Taiwan is now in a "tenuous" and "nervous" position, Baucus added, pointing to China's live-fire military drills, which began after Pelosi's visit to the island.

Taiwan Releases Video Response to Chinese Drills-'Succumb to No Challenges'

Taiwan's defense ministry released a video on Friday responding to Beijing's ongoing military drills, saying that the island would "succumb to no challenges."

"The recent coercion from PRC's [People's Republic of China] drills around us aimed to change the status quo of Taiwan Strait, violated our sovereignty, and caused tension in the Indo-Pacific region," the ministry said in a statement on Twitter. "#ROCArmedForces seek no escalation, but we succumb to no challenges and respond with reason."

"We guard our freedom and democracy. We stand up for our sovereignty," the video is captioned. "We do not succumb to any challenges."

White House Summons Chinese Ambassador

Chinese Ambassador Qin Gang was summoned to the White House on Thursday to rebuke Beijing's decision to conduct live-fire military drills near Taiwan this week.

"After China's actions overnight, we summoned [People's Republic of China] Ambassador Qin Gang to the White House to démarche him about the PRC's provocative actions," the The Washington Post reported, citing National Security Council spokesman John Kirby.

"We condemned the PRC's military actions, which are irresponsible and at odds with our long-standing goal of maintaining peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait," Kirby said.

China's Ballistic Missile Launches Spark Reaction From Australia

China's military drills near Taiwan are "disproportionate and destabilizing," Australia's foreign minister Penny Wong said in scathing remarks on Friday as she urged Beijing to practice "restraint and de-escalation."

"Australia is deeply concerned about the launch of ballistic missiles by China into waters around Taiwan's coastline," Wong said in a statement. "Australia shares the region's concerns about this escalating military activity, especially the risks of miscalculation."

A day earlier, Wong warned about the risk of "miscalculation" amid rising tensions between China and Taiwan.

"We would encourage all parties to consider how they can contribute to de-escalating the current situation," the foreign affairs minister said. "I would again publicly indicate that one of the risks that I think the region is concerned about is the risk of miscalculation."

Australian Senator Penny Wong
Senator Penny Wong reacts to Senator Scott Ryan as he appears before the Additional Estimates 2020–21 Finance and Public Administration Legislation Committee in the Main Committee Room at Parliament House on March 22, 2021 in Canberra, Australia. SAM MOOY/GETTY

Chinese Planes 'Crossing Median Line' as Taiwan Condemns Intrusions

Taiwan's defense ministry has criticized China, saying its vehicles have crossed the unofficial "median line" of the Taiwan Strait.

The line runs from a region near Japan's southern islands to the southwest, near Hong Kong, and divides the 180-kilometer-wide body of water between Taiwan and China.

Tingting Liu, a news host in Taiwan, reported that the ministry "strongly condemns such intentional intrusions."

China is carrying out its live-fire drills in response to U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's highly controversial trip to Taiwan this week.

Beijing officials said on Friday that more than 100 warplanes and 10 warships have taken part in the drills so far.

China-Japan Relations as Drills Raise Tensions

Tensions between China and Japan mounted on Friday as Beijing ramped up live-fire military drills.

The Japanese government condemned Beijing's ongoing exercises, saying launches into Japan's exclusive economic zone were likely done "intentionally."

"Considering the fact that they were shooting into the sea in a number of training areas, I think it can be said that they intentionally made the decision to launch them into that area," Japan's Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi told reporters Friday.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said Friday that recent remarks by Tokyo were an attempt to justify the "wrongdoers."

China's Minister of Foreign Affairs Hua Chunying
Chinese Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs Hua Chunying speaks during a press conference at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Beijing on August 4, 2022. China's largest-ever military exercises encircling Taiwan kicked off on August 4, in a show of force straddling vital international shipping lanes after a visit to the island by U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. NOEL CELIS/AFP/GETTY

Beijing Halts Ties Over Pelosi's Taiwan Visit

China announced on Friday that it is halting cooperation with the U.S. in a number of areas after U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's visit to Taiwan.

These include climate change, military relations, maritime safety mechanisms and anti-drug efforts.

The move is part of a string of retaliatory measures Beijing is adopting in response to the trip by Pelosi—the highest-ranking U.S. official in 25 years to visit the island.