The People's Liberation Army's Eastern Theatre Command has announced that China will hold military exercises around Taiwan starting from Saturday. The exercises will be conducted for three days and will include "combat readiness patrols" around the Taiwan Strait, as well as to the north, south, and east of Taiwan.
The announcement came a day after Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen returned from her trip to the United States, where she met with U.S. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy in Los Angeles.
Anger from Beijing
China views Taiwan as its own territory and has expressed anger over Tsai's meeting with McCarthy. It had threatened retaliation if the meeting took place, and the military exercises appear to be part of that retaliation. In August, China conducted war games around Taiwan, including live-fire missile launches, after then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited Taipei.
No immediate response from Taiwan
Taiwan's government has not yet responded to the announcement of the military exercises. Taiwanese officials had expected a less severe reaction from China to the McCarthy meeting, given that it took place in the United States. However, they had also said that they could not rule out the possibility of China staging more drills.
The military exercises are likely to increase tensions between China and Taiwan, which have been on the rise in recent years. China has been increasing its military presence in the region and has been carrying out regular military drills around Taiwan. Taiwan, for its part, has been strengthening its ties with the United States, which has angered China.
The military exercises around Taiwan are the latest sign of the deteriorating relationship between China and Taiwan. While Taiwan's government has not yet responded to the announcement, it is likely to view the exercises as a provocative act. The United States, which is committed to defending Taiwan against any aggression from China, is likely to closely monitor the situation.
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