Highlights

  • China continues military drills around Taiwan
  • The drills were supposed to be completed by August 7
  • Drills in retaliation to visit by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi

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China continues military drills around Taiwan even after end of four-day schedule

Multiple bomber formations flew across the Taiwan Strait from north to south and from south to north, while several fighter jets conducted joint drills with destroyers and frigates.

China on Monday continued its unprecedented military drills around Taiwan, extending the schedule of war games launched in retaliation to the visit by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to the breakaway island which Beijing claims is part of its territory.

The People's Liberation Army (PLA) Eastern Theatre Command, which oversees Taiwan, said on Monday it would continue drills in waters near Taiwan island, focusing on anti-submarine and air-to-ship strikes, state-run Global Times reported.

The PLA conducted joint drills involving all wings of its armed forces in six areas around the island from August 4 to 7.

The PLA’s latest announcement notice did not specify the location of the exercises nor did it mention when they would end.

The PLA on Sunday proceeded with the plan and continued realistic combat-scenario joint exercises in the sea and air space around the island of Taiwan practicing island capturing drills and bomber deterrence flights in Taiwan Strait, a rehearsal for real operation, state-run Global Times reported on Sunday.

The PLA Command in a late last night press release said its forces continued its joint combat training exercises as scheduled on Sunday in the waters and airspace around the Taiwan island.

The focus on Sunday was set on testing the capabilities of using joint fires to strike land targets and striking long-range air targets, an early Monday state-run Xinhua news agency report said.

The air force under the theatre command deployed multiple types of warplanes, including early warning aircraft, bombers, jamming aircraft, fighter-bombers and fighter jets, to conduct drills on such combat missions as joint reconnaissance, airspace control operation, strikes on ground targets, and air support and cover.

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Supported by naval and air combat systems, the air strike forces, together with long-range multiple launch rocket systems and conventional missile troops, conducted drills of joint precision strikes on targets.

Multiple bomber formations flew across the Taiwan Strait from north to south and from south to north, while several fighter jets conducted joint drills with destroyers and frigates.

China claims Taiwan as part of its territory and has threatened to annex it by force if necessary. The two sides split in 1949 after a civil war, but Beijing considers visits to Taiwan by foreign officials as recognising its sovereignty.

Taiwan's Ministry of National Defence emphasised that its military was keeping a watch on the situation and dispatched aircraft and ships to respond accordingly. Facing rare public criticism at home for not being able to stop the visit despite high voltage rhetoric, China carried out the heaviest mobilisation of its naval, air force and missile forces to carry out targeted bombardment in the busy Taiwan Strait, a lifeline of transportation of vital cargo shipments, since Thursday, the day after Pelosi left Taiwan.

The visit of Pelosi, the top US leader in 25 years to visit Taiwan, came at a politically sensitive time as President Xi Jinping who is set to complete his second five-year term this year and is widely expected to continue in power, unlike his predecessors who retired after a 10-year tenure.

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