China to flex muscles after Pelosi visit to Taiwan

China is keen to give prominence to its military exercises around Taiwan

China is gearing up for military exercises in the seas around Taiwan following top US politician Nancy Pelosi’s trip to the island.

Ms Pelosi left on Wednesday after a brief but controversial visit to Taiwan, which China regards as a breakaway province.

In response, China announced five days of “necessary and just” military drills, which will begin on Thursday.

Taiwan said 27 Chinese warplanes had already entered its air defence zone.

On Wednesday, Taiwan’s defence ministry said it had scrambled jets to warn them off.

China has said the exercises will take place in some of the world’s busiest waterways and will include “long-range live ammunition shooting”.

Taiwan has asked ships to find alternative routes to avoid the drills and is negotiating with neighbouring Japan and the Philippines to find alternative aviation routes.

President Tsai Ing-wen said the country was facing “deliberately heightened military threats”.

In an effort to calm the situation, the foreign ministers from the G7 nations – Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK and US – released a joint statement saying China’s escalation risked destabilising the region.

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