China declared it would conduct missile tests and military drills around Taiwan shortly after US House speaker Nancy Pelosi defied Beijing on Tuesday by landing on the island.
The People’s Liberation Army said it would stage a series of military drills including “long-range live firing in the Taiwan Strait” from Tuesday evening.
“This action is targeted at the US’s shocking recent major escalation on the Taiwan issue, and serves as a serious warning to Taiwanese independence forces or those seeking independence,” Shi Yi, a spokesperson for the Eastern Theater Command, said in a statement.
Separately, the official Xinhua News Agency announced military drills would take place from Aug. 4-7 in six areas that encircle Taiwan, giving coordinates for the exercises. “For safety reasons, relevant ships and aircraft should not enter the above sea areas and airspaces during this period,” Xinhua added.
Pelosi became the highest-ranking American politician to visit the island in 25 years when her military aircraft arrived at Songshan Airport at 10:43 p.m. local time. China considers Taiwan part of its territory and protests diplomatic visits to the island.
The Chinese drills will begin the day after Pelosi is scheduled to leave Taiwan, but she’ll still be in the region visiting US allies South Korea and Japan.