China launches military drills around Taiwan after Pelosi visit
China began its promised military drills around Taiwan on Thursday, as the island braces for the potential fallout of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit.
TAIPEI, Taiwan — China began its promised military drills in the airspace and waters around Taiwan on Thursday, as the Beijing-claimed island braces for the potential fallout of U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit.
China’s People’s Liberation Army launched 11 ballistic missiles into the waters off northern, southern and eastern Taiwan in several waves starting at 1:56 p.m. (1:56 a.m. ET), the Taiwanese Defense Ministry said. It is the first time China has fired missiles into the waters around Taiwan since 1996.
The ministry condemned what it called China’s “irrational actions,” saying they undermined regional peace. Japan said five of the missiles landed in its exclusive economic zone waters.
About an hour earlier, the PLA began what are believed to be unprecedented live-fire drills in six zones that effectively encircle Taiwan’s main island, which is about 100 miles off the coast of China.
Chinese state media reported that 100 aircraft from the Eastern Theater Command took part in the operation and the exercises had “achieved the expected results.”