Russia says Beijing within right to launch military drill

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Russia says Beijing within right to launch military drill

China was within its right to launch a military drill as a response to US House Speaker Pelosi's visit to Taiwan, Russia says.

The Kremlin said that the USUS HouseHouse of Representatives Nancy Pelosi sparked the outbreak of tensions around Taiwan with her trip to Taipei.

The tensions around Taiwan were artificially provoked. We are well aware that we were provoked by the visit of Nancy Pelosi, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Thursday.

It was a completely unnecessary trip, Peskov said, adding that the snap military drill launched by Beijing near Taiwan was the sovereign right of China. Pelosi arrived in Taipei on Tuesday evening as part of her Asian tour, becoming the highest ranking US official to visit the self-governing island in 25 years, despite strong protests from Beijing. China considers Taiwan part of its territory and opposes any diplomatic recognition of it as an independent nation.

In response to Pelosi's trip, Beijing announced a military exercise that Chinese state media described as a rehearsal for a reunification operation. Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said that Pelosi s Taiwan visited risks that would undermine regional stability and security. Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen thanked Pelosi for her visit. She wrote on Wednesday on Twitter that she is grateful to have friends in the international community standing with Taiwan to defend democracy and uphold regional security.