Beijing starts the largest military exercises around the island

Following the visit of US lawmaker Nancy Pelosi, China has begun its largest-ever military drills in the waters off Taiwan.

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The Chinese military started live-fire drills in the sea surrounding the island at midday (0400 GMT) on Thursday, according to AFP citing official broadcaster CCTV, a day after US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan.

Nancy Pelosi’s visit to the autonomous island upset Beijing.

“From 12:00 pm today to 12:00 pm on (August) 7, an important military exercise of the People’s Liberation Army is taking place,” CCTV said, in a social media post that included a map of Taiwan.

Despite repeated warnings from China, US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Wednesday that she and other members of Congress are demonstrating their commitment to Taiwan by meeting with local officials.

Pelosi reportedly said, “Today the world faces a choice between democracy and autocracy.” adding further “America’s dedication to safeguard democracy, here in Taiwan and around the world, remains unbreakable,” during a meeting with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen.