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1. It doesn’t often happen that ordinary Chinese say publicly that they’re disappointed with their government. That they’re ashamed of their government. That they want to renounce their Communist Party memberships. And that they think the People’s Liberation Army is a waste of taxpayers’ money. It’s even rarer that such angry comments come from the kind of nationalists who usually support whatever their leaders demand of them. For much of Monday and Tuesday, many Chinese applauded the tough rhetoric from government, military and media personalities who were attempting to thwart Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan. Then, as Ms. Pelosi’s plane was touching down in Taiwan late Tuesday night, some social media users commented on how disappointed they were with Beijing’s lame response. No military action in the Taiwan Strait, as they felt they had been led to expect. No shoot-down, no missile attack, no fighter jet flying next to Ms. Pelosi’s plane. Just some denunciations and announcements of military exercises. Many people complained that they felt let down and lied to by the government. (Source: nytimes.com)
2. A day after Nancy Pelosi, the speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, visited Taiwan, celebrating it as a bulwark of democracy, China launched three days of military exercises around the island, which its forces may use to press in closer than ever, honing their ability to impose a blockade. A barrage of Chinese propaganda said the drills, which started at midday Thursday, would serve as punishment for Ms. Pelosi’s visit, and as a shock-and-awe deterrent against opponents of Beijing’s claims to the self-ruled island. But more than that, the six exercise zones that the People’s Liberation Army has marked out in seas off Taiwan — one nudging less than 10 miles off its southern coast — could give Chinese forces valuable practice, should they one day be ordered to encircle and attack the island. “Use the momentum to surround,” read a slogan used by People’s Daily, the Chinese Communist Party’s main newspaper, as it announced that the drills had begun. Taiwanese military observers said they did not detect any immediate upsurge in Chinese naval activities. (Source: nytimes.com, reuters.com)