China to hold live-fire drills in East China Sea on August 23-24
China continues its military drills amid the visits of high-ranking US officials to Taiwan.
China will hold another round of live-fire military drills in several areas of the East China Sea off the coast of the eastern Zhejiang Province on August 23-24, China’s maritime safety authority confirmed on Monday.
According to the authority, the exercises near the Daishan island are scheduled for Tuesday from 2 pm to 6 pm local time (06:00-10:00 GMT).
Live-fire drills off the coast of the Langgangshan island will take place from 8 am to 8 pm on Tuesday and Wednesday, the Chinese authority mentioned.
"Ships will be banned from entering the zones during the exercises," the maritime authority indicated, with no additional details provided.
Last week, the maritime authority said on Monday that Beijing would hold new live-fire military exercises in the East China Sea not far from Zhejiang Province in the country's east.
Since early August, China has carried out several large-scale military exercises near Taiwan in response to the visits of high-ranking US officials to the island.
The situation around Taiwan escalated following Pelosi's recent visit to Taipei. China considers Taiwan as part of its territory and opposes any direct official foreign contacts with the island.
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.
Xi asked Biden to prevent Pelosi from visiting Taiwan, Biden refused
On August 20, The Washington Post reported, citing White House officials, that Chinese President Xi Jinping asked US President Joe Biden on July 28, during a phone conversation, to prevent Pelosi from going on her trip to Taiwan. However, the US President refused, warning Beijing against making any "provocative" actions if the visit takes place.
Biden alleged that he "could not oblige," as the US Congress is an independent branch of government and that Pelosi would make her own decisions about foreign trips, the report said.
It is noteworthy that more than 170 countries have reaffirmed their commitment to the One China principle since Pelosi made her visit to Taiwan, according to Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry had announced that Beijing will impose sanctions on Pelosi and her close relatives in response to her provocative visit to Taiwan. China also imposed restrictions on the purchase of fruit and seafood from Taiwan, as well as stopping sand supplies to the island.
In a multi-decadal first, Beijing's Taiwan Affairs Office issued a white book on the island, saying it would "not renounce the use of force" against Taiwan, preserving "the option of taking all necessary measures."
Read more: China calls on US to halt official contact with Taiwan