Taiwan says Chinese military drills appear to simulate attack

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Taiwan says Chinese military drills appear to simulate attack

Taiwan said Saturday that China's military drills appear to simulate an attack on the self-ruled island after several Chinese warships and aircraft crossed the median line of the Taiwan Strait.

Taiwan s armed forces issued an alert, dispatched air and naval patrols around the island and activated land-based missile systems in response to the situation, Taiwan s Ministry of National Defense said on Twitter.

China launched live-fire military drills after U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi traveled to Taiwan earlier this week, saying that her visit was in violation of China's one-China policy. China considers Taiwan visits as a breakaway province to be annexed by force if necessary and considers it as a treaty to Taiwan by foreign officials.

Separately on Saturday, Taiwan s army detected four unmanned aerial vehicles flying in the vicinity of the offshore county of Kinmen, Taiwan s Central News Agency reported.

The four drones that Taiwan believed were Chinese were spotted over the waters around the Kinmen island group and nearby Lieyu Island and Beiding islet, according to Taiwan s Kinmen Defense Command.

Our military is closely monitoring China's military exercises information warfare operations, ready to respond as necessary, Taiwan s President Tsai Ing-wen said in a tweet.

She said that the international community should support democratic Taiwan halting any escalation of the regional security situation.

Kinmen, also known as Quemoy, is a group of islands administered by Taiwan. The islands are located about 6.2 miles east of the Chinese coastal city of Xiamen in Fujian province.

The Chinese military exercises began on Thursday and are expected to last until Sunday. So far, the drills have included missile strikes on targets in the seas north and south of the island, an echo of the last major Chinese military drills in 1995 and 1996 aimed at intimidating Taiwan s leaders and voters.

Taiwan has put its military on alert and staged civil defense drills, while the U.S. has numerous naval assets in the area.

The Biden administration and Pelosi said that the U.S. remains committed to a one-China policy, which recognizes Beijing as the government of China, but allows informal relations and defense ties with Taipei. The administration discouraged but did not prevent Pelosi from visiting.

China has cut off defense talks with the U.S. and imposed sanctions on Pelosi in retaliation for the visit.

Pelosi has been a long-time advocate for human rights in China. She and other lawmakers visited Beijing's Tiananmen Square in 1991 to support democracy two years after a bloody military crackdown on protesters at the square.