China to make east Taiwan Strait drills ‘regular’ – media
The Chinese military will from now on conduct “regular” drills on the eastern side of the median line of the Taiwan Strait, Chinese state TV reported on Sunday, according to Reuters.
The median line is an unofficial line of control separating China and Taiwan that warships and military aircraft from the two sides usually do not cross.
Beijing launched large-scale live-fire military exercises around Taiwan this week in response to the visit of Speaker of the US House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi to the island. China considers the self-governing island its territory and opposes contacts between foreign officials and the Taipei government.
Chinese warships and jets continued to train for strikes and amphibious landings off the coast of Taiwan on Saturday. Chinese state media repeatedly described the drills as a rehearsal for “a reunification-by-force operation,” while Taipei argued that the maneuvers are tantamount to a blockade of the island. The Taiwanese Defense Ministry said its Navy was tracking the movement of the Chinese ships.
“Our measures are resolute, strong and proportionate,” Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi told reporters on Saturday, adding that the drills were being done in accordance with international law. He said the exercises are aimed at “disciplining the Taiwan independence forces.”
A White House spokesperson, meanwhile, described the exercises around Taiwan as “a significant escalation in China’s efforts to change the status quo.”