China said on Wednesday that it military exercises around the Taiwan Strait were “necessary and just” following US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to the island.
“The holding of Chinese military exercises at sea near Chinese Taiwan is a necessary and fair measure to resolutely defend national sovereignty,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said at a regular briefing.
“In the current fight over Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan, the United States is the provocateur and China is the victim. First there was a joint provocation by the United States and Taiwan, then a just defense of China,” she added.
Chinese leaders have expressed anger at Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan, calling it a threat to the fragile status quo on both sides of the strait.
In response, China announced a series of live-fire military exercises around Taiwan, with the Eastern Theater Command saying that “joint naval and air exercises will be conducted in the northern, southwestern, and southeastern sea and airspace” of the island.
Thursday is also scheduled to begin further live-fire military exercises in zones surrounding Taiwan, at some points within as little as 20 kilometers (12 miles) of the island’s coast.
The exercise will include “long-range live ammunition firing” in the Taiwan Strait, which separates the island from mainland China and crosses vital shipping lanes.
The Taipei Defense Ministry has warned that the plans threaten key ports and urban areas.
Read more about the consequences of Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan in the article. “Nancy Pelosi visit to Taiwan: will there be a big war”.