Beijing on Thursday kicked off its largest-ever military exercise involving “live-firing” in six areas that encircle Taiwan, a day after US House speaker Nancy Pelosi left Taiwan as China continues to show its anger over the visit.
Pelosi was the highest ranking elected US official to visit Taiwan in 25 years.
Angered by the visit, Beijing vowed punishment and has announced slew of economic sanctions against Taiwan.
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The military exercises which involves “live-firing” began around 12 pm (0400 GMT), according to Chinese state media.
“Six major areas around the island have been selected for this actual combat exercise and during this period, relevant ships and aircraft should not enter the relevant waters and airspaces,” state broadcaster CCTV reported. It added that the drills would end at 0400 GMT on Sunday.
Taiwan’s defence ministry said Chinese forces fired “multiple” ballistic missiles into waters around Taiwan during Thursday’s military drills, describing the exercise as “irrational actions that undermine regional peace”.
“The Ministry of National Defence stated that the Chinese Communist Party fired multiple Dongfeng series ballistic missiles into the surrounding waters of northeastern and southwestern Taiwan from approximately 13:56 this afternoon,” the defence ministry said in a brief statement.
“The Ministry of National Defence stresses that it will uphold the principle of preparing for war without seeking war, and with an attitude of not escalating conflict and causing disputes.”
Ifunanya Ikueze is an Engineer, Safety Professional, Writer, Investor, Entrepreneur and Educator.