As tensions with China build as a result of the visit by US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Taiwan is experiencing an increase in everything from cyberattacks to military drills. In response to Pelosi’s visit, China threatened to take “resolute, robust, and effective” action and issued a slew of sanctions against Taiwan. With some of the busiest waterways in the world, it is about to begin its largest-ever military exercises encircling Taiwan.
According to the defence ministry, two unidentified aircraft—possibly drones—flew over the vicinity of Taiwan’s Kinmen islands on Wednesday night. It added that it fired flares at the aircraft to frighten them away. According to Major General Chang Zone-sung, the Chinese drones flew twice into the Kinmen region on Wednesday night. Reuters reported this information.
It said 27 Chinese warplanes had flown into its air defence identification zone, including flights over the median line, the strait of Taiwan’s unofficial boundary, before the rehearsal even began. The military of Taiwan fired flares in retaliation on Wednesday night after two alleged drones passed over the outlying Kinmen Island.
Under great international scrutiny, Pelosi landed in Taipei on Tuesday night, when she was welcomed by Sandra Oudkirk, the US ambassador to Taiwan, and Joseph Wu, the foreign minister.
Prior to her discussions with Tsai Ing-wen, the president of Taiwan, she spoke to the legislature on Wednesday.
The live-fire drills that China’s military is scheduled to conduct this week will encircle Taiwan’s main island and target places within its territorial sea, in contrast to the often held drills that take place in the strait and the nearby waters.
Taiwan’s defence ministry charged Beijing with preparing to infringe on Taiwan’s sovereign territory and break international maritime law.
The location of the six exclusion zones is significant, according to Veerle Nouwens, a senior research fellow at the Royal United Services Institute in London.