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Thursday, August 18, 2022
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HomeWorldChina starts biggest-ever strategic drills around Taiwan; Dongfeng ballistic missiles launched

China starts biggest-ever strategic drills around Taiwan; Dongfeng ballistic missiles launched

Military exercises in north, south, and east bisect 12 nautical miles of Taiwanese territorial waters

The Chinese military has started the region’s ‘biggest-ever’ strategic drills around Taiwan with several Dongfeng ballistic missiles launched.

With some affected areas just 12 miles off the island, Taiwan has said that the move violates its sovereignty and amounts to a blockade. According to Reuters, Taiwan’s ships and planes have been stopped from using the region where the drills are being held.

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China sees self-ruled Taiwan as a breakaway province that will eventually be under its control.

China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has begun its military exercises including live firing on the waters and in the airspace surrounding Taiwan. The drills would continue until 12:00pm on Sunday, state television of China reported on Thursday.

Spread out to six locations, the military exercises have been started following the US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan.

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The visit of Nancy Pelosi, the highest profile US official to visit Taiwan in 25 years, was condemned by China as it claims Taiwan as its own.

Chinese military exercises in the north, south and east have bisected 12 nautical miles of Taiwanese territorial waters. Taiwanese officials have claimed the military drills as challenging the international order that amounts to blocking its seas and airspace.

On the other hand, Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen has thanked G7 nations for supporting regional peace and stability. Taiwan officials have said the drills were in violation of United Nations rules. The exercises invaded Taiwan’s territorial space and were a direct challenge to free air and sea navigation.

On Wednesday night, just hours after Pelosi left for South Korea, unidentified aircraft, probably drones, flew above Kinmen islands, Taiwan’s defence ministry told Reuters.

Pelosi during her visit praised Taiwan’s democracy and pledged American solidarity, adding that Chinese anger could not stop world leaders from travelling there. China had summoned US Ambassador to Beijing in protest against the visit and halted several agricultural imports from Taiwan.

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