China is prepared to surround the island with its greatest military display in decades following Nancy Pelosi’s arrival.
The island is bracing for China to retaliate with a significant display of military power as US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi leaves Taipei on Wednesday after meeting with President Tsai Ing-wen and giving a “bedrock vow” that the US will “always stand with Taiwan.”
Beijing launched live-fire military drills in six ocean zones surrounding Taiwan beginning on Thursday and extending until Sunday after Pelosi arrived on Tuesday night. Ships and aircraft are urged to steer clear of the areas marked on the map by China’s official Xinhua News Agency, which also provided the coordinates for the drills.
The military activities are a “deterrence against the big escalation” by the US on the “Taiwan dispute,” according to Shi Yi, spokesperson for the Chinese People’s Liberation Army’s (PLA) Eastern Theater Command.
According to Yu Chien-chang, a representative for the ministry, “They significantly violate our sovereignty by overlapping with our territorial waters and airspace.”
According to the statement, the drills constitute a “grave warning” against the “separatist operations of Taiwan independence groups.” According to the announcement, the drills will include “conventional missile firepower test launching,” off the east coast of the island, and “naval-air joint drills… long-range live ammunition firing” in the Taiwan Strait.
Taiwan’s territorial seas, which stretch 12 nautical miles (22 kilometers) from the coast, are believed to have been violated by some of the PLA’s live-fire training exercises, according to the defense ministry in Taipei on Wednesday.
The Chinese-designated “exclusion zones,” according to the Defense Ministry, constitute a “maritime and aerial blockade” of Taiwan, endangering aircraft and shipping lines.
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