China has started a three-day military exercise around Taiwan. The exercise follows Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen’s visit to the US.
In the exercise, 71 Chinese aircraft and nine ships crossed the center line of the Taiwan Strait, Taiwan’s Ministry of Defense said. The line is the unofficial border between Taiwan and China, which Beijing does not recognize.
A spokesman for the Chinese military tells the state broadcaster CGTN The drills in the Taiwan Strait are, among other things, a “serious warning” after provocations by Taiwanese “separatists” and “open forces”.
China is already angered by Sai’s visit to the US. For example, sanctions were announced against the Ronald Reagan Library in California, where Tsai spoke with US House Speaker Kevin McCarthy on Wednesday.
McCarthy is the second highest-ranking president of the United States, after President Biden and Vice President Harris. He is the highest-ranking American politician to speak with a Taiwanese leader on American soil since 1979.
The Chinese government viewed the visit as a provocation. Beijing does not recognize Taiwan’s sovereignty and considers the island of more than 23 million people a province that needs to be “reunited with the motherland.”
A large military exercise
Previous high-level contact between Taiwan and the United States has led to unprecedented Chinese military exercises around the island. In August 2022, after then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taipei, Chinese warships sailed past Taiwan for several consecutive days. Chinese missiles were also fired over the island for the first time.
The meeting between Tsai and McCarthy leads to military exercises again.
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