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China’s continued live-fire drills around Taiwan focus on ‘blockade’

China continued its exceptional military exercises around self-ruled Taiwan on Tuesday as part of its "countermeasures" against the island nation of 24 million people, which hosted US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for less than 24 hours last week.

The People’s Liberation Army's (PLA) Eastern Theater Command said its forces from naval and air force continued exercises around Taiwan island focusing on the "joint blockade and joint support," the Chinese daily Global Times reported.

China began military exercises last Thursday after Pelosi left Taipei, and they were scheduled to end on Sunday. Beijing, however, announced on Monday that it would extend its live-fire drills around Taiwan. The PLA did not say when the latest drills would end but stated that they would "focus on anti-submarine and air-to-ship strikes" in waters near Taiwan.

Pelosi visited Taiwan despite Beijing's warnings that the self-ruled island is a "breakaway province" and that her visit would be in violation of the country's "one-China policy."

The Chinese military also launched ballistic missiles around Taiwan, some of which fell in waters claimed by Japan to be its exclusive economic zone.

After Pelosi flew out of Taiwan last week on Wednesday, the PLA has since dispatched the largest number of military jets across the Taiwan Strait, with many entering the self-declared air defense identification zone, or ADIZ, which the two militaries across the Taiwan Strait avoid crossing.

Taiwan has also begun military drills in waters near the media line, an imaginary boundary that the fleets of mainland China and the self-ruled island avoid crossing. ​​​​​​​


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