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Live Reporting

Edited by Nathan Williams

All times stated are UK

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  1. We're pausing our live coverage

    Chinese jet

    It's early evening in Taiwan and we'll be pausing our live coverage soon.

    But before we go here's a recap of today's key developments:

    • China's biggest-ever military drills around Taiwan have been taking place for a second day near the island
    • Several Chinese vessels and aircraft have crossed the median line for a second day, Taiwan's defence ministry says - this is the informal dividing line in the Taiwan Strait between the Chinese mainland and Taiwan
    • The military drills are in response to top US Democrat Nancy Pelosi's visit to Taiwan earlier this week
    • China has also announced it is halting key climate talks with the US, and co-operation across multiple other areas
    • US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has said there is "no possible justification" for China's reaction since Pelosi's visit
    • Taiwan’s foreign minister Joseph Wu has said China's behaviour is highly provocative

    Today's coverage was brought to you by Thomas Spender, Yvette Tan, Melissa Zhu, Nathan Williams, Jack Burgess and Sam Hancock.

  2. Our military will defend us with firm action, Taiwan warns

    Let's head to Taiwan, where the defence ministry has spoken out about the action of the Chinese military.

    In a statement, officials condemned Chinese vessels crossing the Taiwan Strait and "harassing" the island's surrounding waters and air space, Reuters reports.

    Chinese aircraft had crossed the median line a total of 68 times by 17:00 local time (10:00 BST), the ministry reportedly said - before warning its military would defend Taiwan's national security "with firm action".

    It added China had "seriously damaged" the status quo of the strait, which separates the island of Taiwan and mainland China.

  3. Reality Check

    More cyber-attacks against Taiwan

    There have been some more cyber-attacks reported against official websites in Taiwan.

    The Ministry of National Defence was one target, as well as the Environment Protection Bureau in Kaohsiung, a city in southern Taiwan, according to local media. The Defence Ministry's website went offline temporarily and on the environment bureau's website, the cyber-attackers put up five Chinese national flags.

    The website of Taiwan's presidential office, the Foreign Ministry and the governing party have all been targeted this week.

    Taiwan says the identities of those responsible for the latest attacks remains unknown.

  4. China has long been isolating us, Taiwan FM tells BBC

    The BBC's Rupert Wingfield-Hayes, in a cream suit, sits opposite and interviews Taiwan Foreign Minister Joseph Wu

    We reported earlier on Taiwan Foreign Minister Joseph Wu's interview with the BBC - and here's some more.

    Refusing to apologise for US Speaker Nancy Pelosi's brief but controversial trip to the island, Wu said visits from high profile figures are key to "raise the profile of Taiwan and to allow the international community to understand that Taiwan is a democracy".

    "China has long been trying to isolate Taiwan internationally," he added.

    China sees Taiwan as a breakaway province that will eventually be under Beijing's control again.

  5. Most Taiwanese don't think US would come to their defence - poll

    One poll suggests most Taiwanese are not confident that the US would help defend the island.

    Some 78.4% of those polled said they were not at all or not very confident that the US would provide assistance to defend Taiwan.

    While 19.2% of the 19,500 questioned - between Wednesday and Friday - said they were very or somewhat confident. The rest had no opinion.

    The share of Taiwanese people who believe that the US military would provide support against a Chinese invasion appears to have been dropping for some time.

    A poll in March, by the Taiwanese Public Opinion Foundation (TPOF) think tank, found that 55.9% of more than a thousand respondents did not believe at all or did not fully believe that the US would defend Taiwan if China invaded. While 34.5% somewhat or fully believed it would.

    This was a sharp drop from just six months before - prior to the Ukraine war - when a similar survey by TPOF found that 65% believed the US would send troops to defend Taiwan and only 29% did not think it would.

  6. Reality Check

    Misinformation spreads online as tensions rise

    Taoyuan International Airport
    Image caption: Taipei's international airport was not hit by a missile

    Misleading information has been circulating in recent days as tensions have surged.

    Reports emerged incorrectly claiming that the international airport near Taiwan’s capital, Taipei, was hit by a missile on 2 August.

    But Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defence denied this had happened, and pointed out the airport was working normally.

    There've also been claims in some Chinese-language media that Taiwan has cancelled all leave for its military. But as yet this has not happened, although personnel have been asked to remain "on alert."

    There's also been misleading video shared claiming to show Chinese warships in the waters around Taiwan in recent days. But it uses old footage of events held to mark the 73rd anniversary of the Chinese navy in April.

    Similarly, social media users have shared video said to show a recent Chinese military exercise, which was actually a Taiwanese drill from nearly two years ago.

  7. Where does crisis leave Biden's Taiwan policy?

    Barbara Plett Usher

    State Department Correspondent

    Nancy Pelosi's visit to Taiwan has left Joe Biden with a serious headache as he tries to manage ties with America's biggest global rival.

    The relationship between China and the United States was founded on deliberate ambiguity over Taiwan.

    Maintaining the status quo - in which Beijing says Taiwan is part of China, Taiwan says it's independent, the US says it's not but treats it like an ally, and no one makes aggressive moves on their claims - has been the least-worst option of keeping a tenuous peace.

    But the US House Speaker has shone a harsh spotlight on the contradictions of this arrangement - which had already become strained.

    Read more

  8. China halts co-operation with US on climate

    Beijing has announced it is halting key climate talks with the US, and co-operation across multiple other areas.

    China and America unveiled a climate pact at the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow last year.

    China's foreign ministry says the country is also suspending dialogue between senior military commanders, talks over cross-border crime prevention and repatriating illegal migrants.

    All this follows US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's visit to Taiwan which angered China.

    A map showing Taiwan's location near China
  9. Australia joins countries admonishing China

    Penny Wong, Australia's foreign minister, has had her say on the situation in Taiwan.

    Speaking to reporters in Cambodia, she says Australia is "deeply concerned" about China's launch of ballistic missiles into waters around Taiwan's coastline.

    She also brands the military drills encircling the island "disproportionate and destabilising".

    Wong joins the likes of Japanese PM Fumio Kishida and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who've both expressed concern over China's actions.

    Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong arrives at the G20 Foreign Ministers' Meeting wearing a face mask

    In its own statement, Australia’s foreign ministry adds:

    Quote Message: This is a serious matter for the region, including for our close strategic partner, Japan. Australia shares the region’s concerns about this escalating military activity, especially the risks of miscalculation.
    Quote Message: We urge restraint and de-escalation. It is in all our interests to have a region at peace and not in conflict. Australia does not want to see any unilateral change to the status quo across the Taiwan Strait. There is no change to Australia's bipartisan One China policy.
  10. 'An elaborate performance'

    Rupert Wingfield-Hayes

    Reporting from Taiwan

    That's how a Taiwanese retired navy captain Lu Li-Shin described the military drills taking place around the island.

    "What China is engaged in is psychological warfare," he said.

    "All the missiles being fired, all the explosions - it's to show China's domestic audience how tough Beijing is being while at the same time intimidating the people of Taiwan."

    It is nevertheless an impressive show and illustrates how far China's military has come in the last two decades.

    Captain Lu says China's next step might be to fire a missile over Taiwan.

    It appears that might have happened on Thursday - Japanese officials suspect it did - but China is yet to confirm it.

    If that's true, this is something China has never done before.

  11. Where are China's military drills taking place?

    This infographic shows the areas Chinas has been carrying out military exercised around Taiwan's maritime border

    As the graphic shows, several of the zones where China has been conducting military exercises verge into Taiwan's territorial waters.

    The Chinese military's Eastern Theatre Command claims the sea combat drills are for the purpose of "continuously testing the joint combat capabilities" of the armed forces.

    Chinese jets have also been spotted flying above the mainland's Pingtan island - which lies across the water from northern Taiwan and is one of the closest points to Taiwan.

  12. 'If we don't leave the port, then we can't survive'

    Video content

    Video caption: 'If we don't leave the port, then we can't survive'

    Two fishermen have spoken about the impact China's military drills are having on their daily lives.

    One said the atmosphere this time was "abnormal" while another insisted they had to keep using Taiwan waters or they would not survive.

  13. Chinese drills to 'test combat capabilities'

    The Chinese military's Eastern Theatre Command said that it continued military exercises in the north, southwest and east of Taiwan Island as planned on Friday.

    The air and sea combat drills were for the purpose of "continuously testing the joint combat capabilities" of the armed forces, it said in a post on Weibo, the Chinese social media site.

  14. White House summons China's ambassador

    Qin Gang, China's ambassador to the US, stands in front of a bamboo wallpaper-covered background

    There's more from the US now, where a report in the Washington Post reveals China's ambassador to the US was called to the White House yesterday.

    "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," White House spokesman John Kirby says in a statement provided to the newspaper.

    A démarche is a protest lodged through diplomatic channels.

    Kirby adds that the Biden administration 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".

    The meeting was between Kurt Campbell, US President Joe Biden's Asia tsar, and Qin, according to a White House official who spoke to the Post anonymously.

    News of the meeting - which took place on Thursday - came shortly after Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the US House of Representatives, was sanctioned by China for her visit to Taiwan.

  15. Tsai reaches out internationally

    Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen has been tweeting in English and Japanese - affirming the values Taiwan shares with democratic countries and asking the international community to "halt escalation of the security situation".

    In English, she said China's military threat was "irresponsible to Taiwan and the international community".

    Taiwan's government and military are closely monitoring China's military drills and are ready to respond as necessary, she said.

    View more on twitter

    Her Japanese tweet referred to the "shared values" of Taiwan and Japan.

    Some social media users questioned why Tsai was tweeting in English and Japanese, but not Mandarin Chinese, Taiwan's official language.

    View more on twitter
  16. WATCH: China's behaviour is highly provocative - Taiwan minister

    Video content

    Video caption: China's behaviour is highly provocative - Taiwan minister

    Taiwan’s foreign minister Joseph Wu has hailed the visit by US house speaker Nancy Pelosi as extremely significant.

    Speaking to the BBC's Rupert Wingfield-Hayes, Joseph Wu condemned the military exercises launched by China in response as highly provocative.

    He says the military drills are a threat to peace and stability in Asia.

  17. China tight-lipped on missile trajectories

    China's foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying did not offer a comment when asked about whether missiles fired by China yesterday passed above Taiwan.

    The Japanese embassy in Washington said it believed four missiles fired by China had passed over the island's capital Taipei.

    But Hua said: "I have no comment. Pelosi triggered the current tensions. All counter measures taken by China is necessary and appropriate."

    View more on twitter
  18. What is the 'One China' policy?

    It is the diplomatic acknowledgement of China's position that there is only one Chinese government. Under the policy, the US recognises and has formal ties with China rather than the island of Taiwan, which China sees as a breakaway province to be reunified with the mainland one day.

    The One China policy is a key cornerstone of Sino-US relations. It is also a fundamental bedrock of Chinese policy-making and diplomacy.

    However, it is distinct from the One China principle - referred to in the Chinese statement sanctioning Pelosi - whereby China insists Taiwan is an inalienable part of one China to be reunified one day.

    The US policy is not an endorsement of Beijing's position and indeed as part of the policy, Washington maintains a "robust unofficial" relationship with Taiwan, including continued arms sales to the island so that it can defend itself.

    Read more

  19. So far nothing about today's drills on Chinese state media

    Chinese state media has not yet released information about Friday's military drill.

    A video was published showing Chinese army medics conducting a drill for sending wounded soldiers by a high speed train with surgery facilities.

    On China's Twitter-like Weibo the hashtag "second day of military drill" is being promoted and people are asking: "What's for today?" and "Why so quiet today?"

    In general, the feeling on Chinese social media is mixed. Some people are impressed by the drills so far, others seem disappointed by what they've seen.

  20. BreakingChina sanctions Pelosi

    China has announced it is sanctioning US Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her immediate family over her visit to Taiwan.

    Foreign Minister Wang Yi said Pelosi had "seriously interfered in China's internal affairs, seriously damaged China's sovereignty and territorial integrity, seriously trampled on the one-China principle, and seriously threatened peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait", according to a statement.

    China sees Taiwan as a breakaway province that must be unified with the mainland, by force if necessary.