Day after Nancy Pelosi’s visit, China begins ‘largest-ever’ military exercises around Taiwan: State media

Taiwan Asia Pelosi

People walk past a billboard welcoming US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, in Taipei, Taiwan, Wednesday, Aug 3, 2022.

Photo : AP

Beijing: China, on Thursday, began its military exercises around Taiwan, AFP News Agency reported citing state media. According to reports, this is the largest-ever military exercise encircling Taiwan. Taiwan’s Defence ministry said that it is closely watching the drills and added that the island was prepared for conflict, ‘but would not seek it’.

According to state media, the exercise will also involve ‘live firing’ and will take place at multiple zones around Taiwan. At some of the points, the drills could be taking place just about 20 km from Taiwan’s shores, it was reported.

“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 said.

Taiwan’s Defence Ministry said that it was prepared for a conflict. “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,” the Ministry said in a statement, agencies cited.

Jinping’s ‘playing with fire’ threat to Biden

The exercises may be viewed against the backdrop of White House Speaker Nancy Pelosi‘s visit to Taiwan on Wednesday. During her visit, Pelosi said that her trip to Taiwan made it “unequivocally clear” that the United States would “not abandon” a democratic ally like Taiwan.

China threatens Taiwan ahead of Pelosis visit Explainer By Tamanna Inamdar
China threatens Taiwan ahead of Pelosi’s visit | Explainer By Tamanna Inamdar

China was quick to react to the visit and said that the US was the provocateur in the developments. “In the current struggle surrounding Pelosi’s Taiwan visit, the United States are the provocateurs, China is the victim,” foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said in a routine briefing. Previously, Chinese President Xi Jinping had, in a telephonic conversation with US President Joe Biden, warned that those ‘playing with fire will get burned’.