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Chinese military exercises continue near Taiwan

CHINA held a second day of military exercises near Taiwan today as the fallout from the visit by US House of Representatives speaker Nancy Pelosi continues. 

The People’s Liberation Army said the drills would continue until midday on Sunday and involve more than 100 fighter jets and 10 destroyers and frigates. 

China’s Defence Ministry said the ships and planes had crossed the so-called median line in the early hours of the morning. 

“Adhering to the principle of preparing for war and not seeking war, the national army will work together to firmly defend sovereignty and national security,” a statement said.

Beijing said it would impose sanctions on Ms Pelosi for visiting the island and that the military exercises were a countermeasure in the face of provocations by the United States and its separatist allies in Taiwan. 

“In the current struggle surrounding Pelosi’s Taiwan visit, the United States are the provocateurs, China is the victim,” Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said earlier this week. 

A military source said the exercises were held “in preparation for actual combat.

“If the Taiwanese forces come into contact with the PLA on purpose and accidentally fire a gun, the PLA will take stern countermeasures, and all the consequences will be borne by the Taiwanese side,” the source said.

White House spokesman John Kirby accused China of overreacting to Ms Pelosi’s inflammatory visit and said that the temperature can come down if it stops the military drills.

But China said it had made strong representations over what Vice Minister Deng Li described as “wanton interference in China’s internal affairs.”

China’s Foreign Ministry announced today that it would suspend dialogue between US and China military commands and maritime safety mechanism talks.

Ms Pelosi faced angry protests over her visit to Taiwan on Thursday with citizens describing her as a “warmonger” and promoting secession from China. 

Washington has not condemned her trip, though it repeatedly stressed that it was Ms Pelosi’s individual choice rather than on behalf of the Biden administration. 

Pyongyang described her visit to Taiwan as “impudent interference” and accused Washington of inflaming regional tensions. 

Chinese ambassador Zheng Zeguang told the Morning Star that he hoped British politicians “will not dance to the tune of the United States” amid rumours of a delegation to Taiwan in December.

Britain “recognises unequivocally China’s position that Taiwan is a province of China, and undertakes the commitment to maintain only unofficial relations with Taiwan,” he said.  

“The UK side must strictly abide by it,” Mr Zheng continued, adding: “Remember: Those that play with fire get burnt!”

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