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China is running a slew of military drills near Taiwan, apparently in anger after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited the disputed island territory.
China’s military is running live-fire combat training in the Taiwan Strait, a narrow disputed body of water between mainland China and Taiwan.
The military is reportedly practicing blockades at sea and missile launches, as well as combat on land. The Chinese military is utilizing advanced technology in the drills, including J-20 stealth fighter jets and DF-17 hypersonic missiles.
“In the event of a future military conflict, it is likely that the operational plans currently being rehearsed will be directly translated into combat operations,” Chinese military official Song Zhongping told the nation’s state tabloid, the Global Times.
“It means that our battle plan has been made clear to the U.S. and the Taiwan authorities, and we are confident enough to inform them of the consequences of further provocation in this way,” Song said.
The Global Times went on to claim that the exercises would “enter area within 12 nautical miles of the island and that the so-called median line will cease to exist.” Warships would be “surrounding” and “completely blockading the island demonstrating the Chinese mainland’s absolute control over the Taiwan question,” according to the Global Times.
The People’s Republic of China has long claimed sovereignty over Taiwan and the Taiwan Strait, the relatively narrow strip of ocean between the island of Taiwan and the Chinese mainland. The Chinese military has frequently sent planes into the area, testing Taiwan’s air defense zone.
The U.S. does not have official relations with Taiwan – also known as the Republic of China – and maintains a “One China” policy that recognizes the People’s Republic of China as the legitimate successor nation.
China issued stern warnings against Pelosi’s visit in previous weeks, including threats from government officials and TV personalities. President Biden revealed weeks ago that the U.S. military “thinks it’s not a good idea right now.”
“People’s Liberation Army launches joint military operations around Taiwan island,” said Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lijian Zhao. “China resolutely defends its sovereignty and territorial integrity.”
Despite the bluster, Pelosi’s congressional delegation arrived and departed Taiwan with little to no obstacles.