China launches military drills around Taiwan as Pelosi lands
China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) announced military exercises in positions encircling Taiwan hours after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s plane landed in Taiwan.
Joint sea and air drills began on Tuesday evening, with live-fire exercises scheduled for August 4-7 after Pelosi left the disputed island, the Global Times reported. The live-fire drills will take place at six points around the island and could represent a test for possible moves to assert Taiwan’s full control.
“This action takes aim at the recent major and shocking escalation by the United States on the Taiwan question, and serves as a serious warning to Taiwanese pro-independence forces or those seeking independence,” said Shi Yi, spokesperson for the Command. of the PLA’s Eastern Theater, in a statement.
Rocket launchers mobilized and stealth fighter jets took off from the Chinese mainland on Tuesday evening, the Global Times reported. Gu Zhong, deputy chief of staff of the Eastern Theater Command, said China was “preparing for all crises”.
The PLA will conduct major military exercises and training activities, including live-fire exercises in six regions surrounding the island of Taiwan from Thursday to Sunday. pic.twitter.com/k9q1WEDsyF
— Global Times (@globaltimesnews) August 2, 2022
Pelosi’s flight landed at 10:43 p.m. local time at Songshan Airport in Taipei amid mounting Chinese warnings and reports of military activity near Taiwan. Taiwan’s Defense Ministry said 21 Chinese fighter jets breached Taiwan’s Air Defense Identification Zone on Tuesday, CNN reported.(RELATED: REPORT: Pelosi heads to Taiwan despite looming war threats)
Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Xie Feng met with US Ambassador to China Nicholas Burns on Tuesday night to protest the “extremely vicious” nature of Pelosi’s visit, accusing the US of supporting Tawia independence, said reported Xinhua.
“China will certainly take all necessary measures to resolutely safeguard its sovereignty and territorial integrity in response to the US President’s visit. All consequences must be borne by the United States and separatist ‘Taiwan independence’ forces,” the Chinese Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Tuesday, the Global Times reported.
“The announced PLA exercises, likely to be bigger than the one in the Taiwan Strait crisis in 1996, serve not only as warnings to secessionists from the United States and ‘Taiwan independence,’ but also rehearsals for the PLA to reunify the island by force,” reported the Global Times, citing experts.
Tensions erupted between China and Taiwan in 1996 after the United States granted former Taiwanese President Lee Teng-hui permission to visit the United States unofficially, the first time a Taiwanese leader was traveling to the United States, according to Axios. In response, China deployed more than 100,000 troops to Fujian province bordering the Taiwan Strait and conducted missile tests that came dangerously close to the Taiwanese target.
Pelosi’s office and China’s foreign and defense ministries did not immediately respond to requests for comment from the Daily Caller News Foundation.
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