The Chinese military deployed 20 aircraft and 14 battleships in the vicinity of Taiwan on Saturday — the third day of Beijing’s military drills in the Taiwan Strait, the Taiwanese Ministry of National Defense said.
China launched a large-scale military exercise in the eastern Taiwan Strait in response to US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taipei this week. Pelosi, who ignored Beijing’s repeated warnings, is the highest-ranking US official to come to Taiwan in 14 years. The drills are expected to continue until 12 p.m. local time (04:00 GMT) on Sunday.
“20 PLA aircraft (SU-30*10, J-16*4, J-11*4, Y-8 ASW and Y-20 Aerial Refueling) and 14 vessels conducted an air-sea operation on the surrounding area of R.O.C on August 6, 2022,” the ministry tweeted.
The ministry added that it scrambled a military patrol to monitor the situation and deployed anti-aircraft and missile defense systems.
Chinese Military Drills
The Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) will conduct military exercises with live fire in the southern part of the Yellow Sea from August 6-15, the China Maritime Safety Administration (MSA) said on Saturday.
According to the MSA, the drills will last from 8:00 a.m. local time (00:00 GMT) Saturday to 06:00 p.m. (10:00 GMT) on August 15, with ships prohibited from entering the designated areas of the exercises.
Since early August, the Chinese army has been conducting a number of military exercises amid US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan. In particular, the PLA’s drills were held in East China and South China Seas on July 30, while on August 1-4, live fire military exercises were held in the waters of the Gulf of Bohai.
In addition, on August 2-6, regular drills were held in the South China Sea. After Pelosi landed at Taipei Songshan Airport on Tuesday, the Chinese army deployed military maneuvers in close proximity to Taiwan, and since Thursday large-scale exercises using missiles, aviation and warships have been held in six areas in the water area around the island and will last until Sunday.
Pelosi visited Taipei while on an Asia tour despite warnings from China, which considers Taiwan part of its territory and opposes any direct official foreign contacts with the island. She was the first highest-ranking US official to visit Taiwan in 25 years.
The visit triggered a new round of tension in the Taiwan Strait. In addition to the launch of military exercises this week, Beijing has imposed sanctions against two Taiwanese foundations for separatist activities, suspended the export of natural sand to the island and the import of citrus fruits, as well as some types of fish products from Taiwan.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry said that Washington and Taipei were yet to face all the negative consequences of the visit, which Beijing had opposed for several months.
- Via Sputnik News Agency
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