China conducts new military drills around Taiwan

BEIJING - China carried out fresh military drills around Taiwan Monday, Beijing said, defying calls to end its largest-ever exercises encircling the island in the wake of a visit by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Beijing has raged at the trip by Pelosi -- the highest-ranking elected US official to visit Taiwan in decades -- ripping up a series of talks and cooperation agreements with Washington, most notably on climate change and defence.
It has also deployed fighter jets, warships and ballistic missiles in what analysts have described as practice for a blockade and ultimate invasion of the self-ruled democratic island that China claims as its territory. Those drills had been expected to draw to a close on Sunday, but China said Monday they were still ongoing.
“The eastern theatre of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army continued to carry out practical joint exercises and training in the sea and airspace around Taiwan island,” the military said.
The exercises, the PLA’s Eastern Command added, were “focusing on organising joint anti-submarine and sea assault operations”. Taipei condemned Beijing for extending the drills.

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