Beijing, Aug 8 (EFE).- The Chinese armed forces announced they will continue Monday with the military drills around Taiwan that began in response to United States House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to the self-governed island.
The military exercises, which started on Thursday, were scheduled to end on Sunday, although Beijing did not officially confirm the date for its conclusion.
The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) posted on the social network Weibo – Chinese equivalent to Twitter, censored in the Asian country – that it continues to carry out exercises over air and sea around the island of Taiwan.
Monday’s exercises will focus on anti-submarine operations and targeted airstrikes, the PLA statement said, but did not reveal the location of these additional maneuvers.
Beijing’s maneuvers around Taiwan have been carried out using live fire and with the launch of several long-range missiles, described by the Taiwanese Government, as “irresponsible,” and have raised concerns within the international community.
These exercises have been underway so far in six areas around the island, one of them about 20 kilometers off the coast of Kaohsiung, the main city in southern Taiwan.
The Taiwanese defense ministry over the past few days has denounced several Chinese ships and military aircraft having crossed the middle line of the Strait of Formosa, an unofficial border tacitly respected by both Taipei and Beijing until now.
In response to China’s actions and in order to test its combat readiness, the self-governed island has announced that it will carry out military exercises on Tuesday and Thursday using live fire in Pingtung County, according to the Taiwan’s official news agency CNA.
China, which called Pelosi’s visit a “farce” and a “deplorable betrayal,” claims sovereignty over the island and considers Taiwan a rebel province since Kuomintang nationalists withdrew there in 1949, after losing the civil war. EFE