China conducts fresh drills around Taiwan as US lawmakers visit
China's military is conducting additional exercises near Taiwan as Washington's provocations continue, this time in the form of a congressional delegation's visit to Taipei.
China announced new military maneuvers surrounding Taiwan on Monday, as a team of US politicians met with the island's leader only weeks after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's provocative trip.
The secret two-day visit came as Beijing launched warships, missiles, and fighter jets into the waters and skies surrounding Taiwan.
Washington's de facto embassy revealed that a five-member congressional delegation led by Massachusetts Senator Ed Markey met with President Tsai Ing-wen on Monday.
"The delegation had an opportunity to exchange views with Taiwan counterparts on a wide range of issues of importance to both the United States and Taiwan," it said.
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The bipartisan trip sparked a caustic response from Beijing, which said it had carried out "combat readiness patrol and combat drills in the sea and airspace around Taiwan island" on Monday.
"This is a solemn deterrent against the US and Taiwan for continuing to play political tricks and undermining peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait," Shi Yi, spokesman for the Chinese military's Eastern Theater Command, said in a statement, promising to "resolutely defend national sovereignty".
In response to the delegation's visit, Beijing called on Washington to "stop going further down the wrong path of hollowing out and distorting the one-China principle, so as not to cause further damage to China-US relations and peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait".
"China will take firm and forceful measures to safeguard its national sovereignty and territorial integrity," foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin told a regular briefing.
Chinese Army drills around Taiwan
China carried out military drills around Taiwan, Beijing said, after US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's visit to the island escalated tensions between the two powers.
Pelosi's visit led China to announce ending cooperation with the United States on a number of issues such as climate change, anti-drug efforts, and military talks.
The US official's visit to Taipei triggered a series of Chinese large-scale military drills east of the Taiwan Strait.
On the other hand, the Taiwanese military held a round of live-fire drills in the Taiwan Strait after the Chinese army concluded its drills in the South China Sea in light of tensions with Taipei over US regional interference.