Chinese forces have fired 11 missiles towards Taiwan, as China launches large-scale military exercises in response to US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to the self-ruled island, Sky News reported.
Taiwanese military has said that it is ‘preparing for war’ but not seeking it. The report quoting expert says ‘this is how it begins’ and predicts possible invasion.
Earlier, Chinese state media said the live-fire drills in six areas around Taiwan got underway at noon local time (04:00 GMT) on Thursday and will continue until the same time on Sunday.
China says military exercises by its navy, air force, and other departments are underway in six zones surrounding Taiwan.
The drills were prompted by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to the island this week and are intended to advertise China’s threat to attack the self-governing island republic in response to moves to solidify its de facto independence from Chinese rule – with support from key ally the US.
China’s official Xinhua News Agency said the exercises were joint operations focused on “blockade, sea target assault, strike on ground targets, and airspace control”.
Taiwan has put its military on alert and staged civil defense drills, while the US has numerous naval assets in the area.
The drills are due to run until Sunday and include missile strikes on targets in the seas north and south of the island in an echo of the last major Chinese military drills aimed at intimidating Taiwan’s leaders and voters held in 1995 and 1996.
The exercises involved troops from the Navy, Air Force, Rocket Force, Strategic Support Force, and Logistic Support Force under the Eastern Theatre Command.