Taiwan holds live-fire drills as China extends war games

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Taiwan’s top diplomat accuses China of simulating an invasion as Taiwanese and Chinese militaries conduct drills in Taiwan Strait.

Taiwan’s military has held live-fire artillery drills simulating a defense of the island as China continued the air and naval exercises it started last week in response to US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to the self-ruled territory.

Taiwanese officials say Tuesday’s drills, which involved soldiers firing howitzer artillery out to sea, had long been scheduled and were not a reaction to China’s unprecedented war games.

Shortly after the hour-long Taiwanese drills ended, China’s Eastern Theater Command announced that it was continuing its exercises in the seas and airspace around Taiwan.

Citing an unnamed source, it was reported that about 20 Chinese and Taiwanese navy boats were continuing to hold close to the median line of the Taiwan Strait, with some of the Chinese boats attempting to “press” into the unofficial buffer zone.

China claims democratically governed Taiwan, an island of 23 million people, as its own and has called Pelosi’s visit there last week a violation of its sovereignty and a provocation by the United States.

The joint air and sea exercises it launched in response have been its largest in the Taiwan Strait and involved test launches of ballistic missiles over Taipei for the first time. They took place in six zones around the island and were scheduled to run for four days and end on Sunday.

Agencies

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