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China bombs Taiwan, fires mlrs weapon missiles pingtan island south china sea

China bombs Taiwan, fires mlrs weapon missiles pingtan island south china sea
In this handout from August 4, 2022, the Rocket Force of the Eastern Theater Command of China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) tests conventional missiles in the waters off the east coast of Taiwan. The location of the tests is not given.
When China does military drills near Taiwan, they block important shipping routes.

Analysts say that China's military exercises in the waters around Taiwan have caused some ships to go around the Taiwan Strait and stay far away from the island. This has disrupted key routes for shipping goods and cargo around the world.

China got angry when Nancy Pelosi, the speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, went to Taiwan. On Thursday, China started four days of military drills around the disputed island, including firing live missiles and sending out fighter jets.

Analysts and ship owners say that Taiwan's ports are working as usual, but some cargo ships and oil tankers are re-routing around the island to avoid running into the Chinese military. This adds about a half day to their trips.

It's a reminder of how bad a conflict over Taiwan could be for world trade, since the 110-mile-wide Taiwan Strait and a shipping lane to the island's east are major routes for ships carrying goods from East Asia to the U.S. and Europe.

Niels Rasmussen, the head analyst at the shipowners' group BIMCO, said that some ships have already taken precautions and are going east of the island instead of through the Taiwan Strait.

Major trade routes for containers and tankers
Major trade routes for containers and tankers

WARNING SIGN

COVID-19 lockdowns at Chinese ports caused problems with global supply chains at the beginning of this year. This contributed to record inflation all over the world.

"China's action hasn't really messed up ocean freight operations yet, but if it goes on for a long time, it could," said Zvi Schreiber, CEO of the Freightos shipping index.

"Regional conflict could force ships to take different routes, which would increase travel time, throw off schedules, and add to costs and delays."

During the Chinese military exercises, the airspace near Taipei has been closed to civilian traffic, so airlines have cancelled some flights there and rerouted others. go to site

This week, Pelosi became the highest-ranking U.S. government official to visit Taiwan in 25 years. She said that this high-stakes move showed that the U.S. is still committed to the self-governed island.

China, which claims Taiwan as part of its territory, responded by sending fighter jets, bombers, and warships to the strait and all around the island as a show of military strength.

Anoop Singh, head of tanker research at shipping risk manager Braemar, says that large oil tanker owners have since raised security alert levels and are rerouting ships.

Shipping insurance groups have also sent out warnings to their members, telling them to be careful when sailing near Taiwan.

Even though tankers and container ships were still docking normally in Taiwan, analysts said that even small delays for ships could be a problem because global trade is still getting back on its feet after the effects of pandemic lockdowns.

"It's a step in the wrong direction that ships are being used to avoid tensions instead of speeding up trade," said Peter Sand, chief analyst at ocean freight platform Xeneta. This means that supply chains will have to deal with more problems.

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