Taiwan kicks off live missile exercises as US has eyes set on region
The island will conduct the test-firings on Monday and Tuesday ahead of its largest annual drill this week.
Taiwan is set to conduct a missile live-firing exercise on Monday as the island prepares to launch its largest annual military drills later this week.
The two-day firings come as tensions continue to grow between Taipei, backed by the United States, and China, which is demanding that the island's backers abide by the internationally recognized "One China" policy.
Earlier in June, Secretary of State Antony Blinken made a rare trip to Beijing, where his hosts promised to make no concessions on Taiwan but expressed optimism for continued contact to prevent tensions from rising.
But the visit's optimistic drive was short-lived after US President Joe Biden called Chinese President Xi Jinping a "dictator" a few days prior to the US announcing plans to sell $440 million in ammunition and parts to Taiwan.
Relations between the world's two largest economies have deteriorated rapidly in the past years.
The trade war on China, which was launched during former US President Donald Trump's term, was stretched by Biden's administration to include a military escalation against Beijing in the South China Sea, including violating the "One China" policy and deepening relations with Taiwan, as well as planting military bases in the Philippines and establishing a NATO-like nuclear alliance with Japan and South Korea.
Last week, Taiwan said it had dismissed applications by Chinese tourism officials to visit the island and take part in an international travel fair scheduled later this month.
Taiwan's immigration department cited the "overall cross-strait situation" and shed doubt regarding the "necessity, urgency, and irreplaceability" of the participation of Chinese tourism officials.