Taiwan launches live-fire drills, claims China is readying to invade island nation
On August 3, China started military exercises around Taiwan in retaliation for the United States House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit.
Taiwan on Tuesday held an artillery drill on the island after Chinese Army carried out military exercises in the region, AFP reported.
Lou Woei-jye, a spokesperson for Taiwan’s Eighth Army Corps, said that the live-fire drill – or an exercise using live ammunition – began in the county of Pingtung shortly after 0040 Greenwich Mean Time, or 6.10 am as per Indian Standard Time.
On August 3, China launched live-fire military drills around Taiwan in retaliation for the United States House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to the island nation. Pelosi was the highest-ranking American official to visit Taiwan in 25 years on August 2 despite a slew of threats from Beijing, which considers the island as its own territory.
On Monday, China said it was continuing military drills in the seas and the airspace around Taiwan, a day after the exercise was scheduled to end.
Meanwhile, Taiwan’s Foreign Minister Joseph Wu alleged that Beijing was using military drills to prepare for an invasion of the island, Reuters reported. He claimed that China was “conducting large-scale military exercises, missile launches as well as cyber attacks, a disinformation campaign and economic coercion in an attempt to weaken public morale in Taiwan”.
On Friday, China cut off contact with the United States on vital matters, including defence meetings and a crucial climate cooperation agreement.
On Monday, Chinese Defence Ministry spokesperson Wu Qian defended Beijing’s decision to shelve military talks with the US, Xinhua news agency reported.
“The current tense situation in the Taiwan Strait is completely provocative and single-handedly created by the US side, and the US side must bear full responsibility and serious consequences for this,” the spokesperson said. “The Chinese side has stated its solemn position on the relationship between the two countries and the two militaries, the Taiwan issue, etc., especially with regard to the repeated stern representations of the US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit.”