China begins ‘unprecedented’ military drills around Taiwan

by | Aug 3, 2022 | World

China has begun large-scale military sea and air exercises around the self-ruled island of Taiwan, hours after US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s departure from Taipei following a whirlwind visit that infuriated Beijing.State media reported the live-fire drills in six areas around Taiwan got underway at noon local time (04:00 GMT) and will continue until the same time on August 7.
China began military manoeuvres on Tuesday night following Pelosi’s arrival and later announced a raft of retaliatory economic measures in response to Pelosi’s visit.
Military activity continued on Wednesday, with Taiwan saying the drills violated United Nations rules, invaded its territorial space and amounted to a blockade of its air and sea.
Beijing claims Taiwan as its own and has not ruled out the use of force to take control of the island.
The United States, while having formal diplomatic relations with China, follows a policy of “strategic ambiguity” on Taiwan and is bound by law to provide the island with the means to defend itself.
On Thursday, the Global Times, a state-run tabloid, framed the drills as a rehearsal for “reunification operation(s)”.
“In the event of a future military conflict, it is likely that the operational plans currently being rehearsed will be directly translated into combat operations,” it quoted Chinese mainland military expert Song Zhongping as saying.

It reported the military planned to launch live long-range artillery across the Taiwan Strait.
“If the conventional missiles of the PLA were to be launched from the mainland toward the west of Taiw …

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