China-Taiwan tensions: China stages fresh drills near Taiwan
The recent Taiwan visit by Nancy Pelosi flared up tensions between China and US
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Fresh military drills have been staged near Taiwan by China as the latest visit by United States lawmakers to the island has further angered Beijing.
The visit comes days after a controversial halt to Taiwan by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi during her recent Asia trip. Pelosi's visit to Taiwan triggered a furious response from Beijing.
The five US lawmakers arrived in Taipei on an unannounced visit late on Sunday. The team was led by Senator Ed Markey. The US de facto embassy in Taipei said that the delegation met with President Tsai Ing-wen on Monday.
"The delegation had an opportunity to exchange views with Taiwan counterparts on a wide range of issues of importance to both the United States and Taiwan," it said.
Pelosi's Taiwan visit has flared up tensions between China and US as Beijing views self-ruled, democratic Taiwan as part of its territory. China even claimed that, in case needed, it will use force to unite the two territories.
China claims that Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen will defy China's one-nation policy by pushing for formal independence — a red line for the nation.
In the latest, the People's Liberation Army's Eastern Theatre Command, meaning the Chinese military unit responsible for the area adjacent to Taiwan, said that the PLA's Eastern Theatre Command had organised multi-service joint combat readiness patrols and combat drills in the sea and airspace around Taiwan on Monday.
It added that the exercises were "a stern deterrent to the United States and Taiwan continuing to play political tricks and undermine peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait."
In a separate statement, China's Defence Ministry said that the lawmakers' trip infringed on China's sovereignty and territorial integrity and "fully exposes the true face of the United States as a spoiler and spoiler of peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait".
"The Chinese People's Liberation Army continues to train and prepare for war, resolutely defends national sovereignty and territorial integrity, and will resolutely crush any form of 'Taiwan independence' separatism and foreign interference."
Taiwan's Defence Ministry claimed that 15 Chinese aircraft had crossed the median line of the Taiwan Strait on Monday.
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