Chinese aircraft and warships rehearsed an attack on Taiwan on Saturday, island officials said, in retaliation for a visit there by U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi that also saw Beijing halt talks on security and other issues with the United States.
Pelosi’s brief unannounced visit during the week to the self-ruled island claimed by China infuriated Beijing and has prompted unprecedented military drills that have included ballistic missiles fired over the capital, Taipei.
The Chinese exercises – centred on six locations around the island – are scheduled to last until midday on Sunday.
Taiwan’s defence ministry said multiple Chinese ships and planes conducted missions in the Taiwan Strait, with some crossing the median line, an unofficial buffer separating the two sides, in what the Taiwan military described as a simulation attack on the island.
Chinese warships and aircraft continued to “press” into the median line of the Taiwan Strait on Saturday afternoon, a person familiar with security planning said.
Off Taiwan’s east coast and close to Japanese islands, Chinese warships and drones simulated attacks on U.S. and Japanese warships, the person added.
Taiwan’s army broadcast a warning and deployed air reconnaissance patrol forces and ships to monitor while putting shore-based missiles on stand-by.
Its defence ministry also said it fired flares late on Friday to warn away seven drones flying over its Kinmen islands and unidentified aircraft flying over its Matsu islands. Both island groups are close to mainland China’s coast.
On Friday, China’s military said it conducted air and sea drills to the north, southwest and east of Taiwan to test its forces’ “joint combat capabilities”.
Pelosi arrived in Taiwan late on Tuesday, the highest-level visit to the island by a U.S. official in decades, despite Chinese warnings. Her trip has promoted a flurry of retaliation, including sanctions against Pelosi and her family.
Source: Tap News Agency