‘Missiles, military operations’: China announces as Pelosi lands in Taiwan
Nancy Pelosi became the highest-ranking US politician to visit the island in 25 years when her military aircraft arrived at Songshan Airport at 10:43 pm local time.
Furious over US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's visit Taipei, China on Tuesday declared it would conduct missile tests and military drills around Taiwan. The People’s Liberation Army said it would stage a series of military drills including “long-range live firing in the Taiwan Strait” from Tuesday evening.
"The Chinese People's Liberation Army is on high alert and will launch a series of targeted military operations to counter this, resolutely defend national sovereignty and territorial integrity, and resolutely thwart external interference and 'Taiwan independence' separatist attempts," defence ministry spokesman Wu Qian said in a statement condemning the visit.
Separately, the People's Liberation Army's Eastern Theatre Command said it will conduct joint military operations near Taiwan from Tuesday night, and will test-launch conventional missiles in the sea east of Taiwan.
“This action is targeted at the US’s shocking recent major escalation on the Taiwan issue, and serves as a serious warning to Taiwanese independence forces or those seeking independence,” Shi Yi, a spokesperson for the Eastern Theater Command, said in a statement.
The exercises will include joint air and sea drills in the north, southwest, northeast of Taiwan, long-range live firing in the Taiwan Strait, and missile test launches in the sea east of Taiwan, the Easter Theatre Command said.
Pelosi became the highest-ranking American politician to visit the island in 25 years when her military aircraft arrived at Songshan Airport at 10:43 pm local time. China considers Taiwan part of its territory and protests diplomatic visits to the island.
The Chinese drills will begin the day after Pelosi is scheduled to leave Taiwan, but while she is still in the region making stops in South Korea and Japan, two key US allies.
(With inputs from agencies)