China has begun large scale military sea and air exercises around the self ruled island of Taiwan, hours after US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s departure from Taipei following a whirlwind visit that infuriated Beijing.
International media reported the live fire drills in six areas around Taiwan got underway at noon local time (04:00 GMT) and will continue until the same time on August 7.
China began military manoeuvres on Tuesday night following Pelosi’s arrival and later announced a raft of retaliatory economic measures in response to Pelosi’s visit.
Beijing claims Taiwan as its own and has not ruled out the use of force to take control of the island.
The United States, while having formal diplomatic relations with China, follows a policy of “strategic ambiguity” on Taiwan and is bound by law to provide the island with the means to defend itself.