China fires missiles during Taiwan Strait drill
The Chinese military conducted “precision missile strikes” Thursday during drills in the Taiwan Strait and off the eastern coast of Taiwan. China announced drills earlier this week in six areas surrounding the self-governing island, which China claims as its territory to be annexed by force, if necessary. Taiwan’s Defense Ministry said it tracked 11 Chinese Dongfeng missiles in the waters in the north, east, and south on Thursday.
Why now? China announced the drills in response to U.S. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan earlier this week. Its state news agency said the drills were focused on “blockade, sea target assault, strike on ground targets, and airspace control.” Pelosi is the highest-ranking U.S. official to visit Taiwan in decades. She said she went to show America’s commitment to supporting Taiwan’s democracy. China views any government leaders visiting Taiwan as a recognition of its independence. The United States has not formally recognized the island’s sovereignty but is committed by law—the Taiwan Relations Act of 1979—to support the people of Taiwan and treat threats to the nation, including blockades, as matters of “grave concern."
Dig deeper: Read William Inboden’s WORLD Opinions column on President Joe Biden saying the United States would respond with force if China invaded Taiwan.
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