China has intensified the drills as Pelosi arrived in Taiwan on Tuesday and has only continued to gain momentum since then. Earlier on Wednesday China’s Navy, Air Force, Rocket Force, Strategic Support Force and Joint Logistic Support Force conducted a series of naval-air joint drills in the sea and air space north, southwest and southeast of the Taiwan island.
And as Pelosi landed in Taipei, Chinese state media took to Twitter with a map showing six areas around Taiwan where it said the PLA would conduct drills, including live-fire exercises from Thursday through Sunday. Beijing claims that the self-governed territory is a part of it and vows to integrate with the mainland – even by force if necessary.
Taiwan’s defence ministry spokesman Sun Li-fang said on Wednesday that some of the areas of China’s drills “breach into… (Taiwan’s) territorial waters” and “amounts to a blockade of Taiwan’s air and sea space”. President Tsai Ing-wen has also criticised the drills, saying they are an unnecessary reaction and Taiwan was committed to maintaining the status quo across the Taiwan Strait.
The local administration has struck a defiant note, with Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council (which sets the government’s China policies) accused Beijing of “vicious intimidation” and calling for democratic countries to “unite and take a solemn stand to punish and deter” Beijing.