China conducted new military drills around Taiwan on Monday, defying calls to end its largest-ever exercises encircling the democratic island.
Live fire drills began on Thursday, a day after US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s controversial visit to the island.
These drills were supposed to end on Sunday, but neither Beijing nor Taipei confirmed their conclusion.
“The Chinese People’s Liberation Army continued to conduct practical joint exercises and training in the sea and airspace surrounding Taiwan island, with a focus on organizing joint anti-submarine and sea assault operations,” the Chinese military’s eastern command said in a statement.
Beijing has deployed fighter jets, warships, and ballistic missiles in preparation for a blockade and eventual invasion of the self-ruled island, which China claims as its territory.
Taiwan’s transport ministry announced on Sunday that six of the seven “temporary danger zones” China had warned airlines to avoid had been lifted as of noon on Sunday, indicating a partial relaxation of the drills.
Chinese military helicopters fly over Pingtan island in Fujian province, one of mainland China’s closest points to Taiwan.