Pelosi visit to Taipei: US warships cruise near Taiwan; China to hold live fire exercises off Taiwan coast

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Beijing has announced its military will hold live fire exercises off the coast of Taiwan.
The announcement from China came within an hour of Nancy Pelosi touching down in Taipei, despite fierce oppisition to the trip from Beijing.
The Chinese military has been put on high alert and will launch “targeted military operations” in response to the visit, China’s defence ministry said.
Separately, the People’s Liberation Army’s Eastern Theatre Command said it will conduct joint military operations near Taiwan from Tuesday night, and will test-launch conventional missiles in the sea east of Taiwan.
The military drills will last Thursday to Sunday, said Beijing.



The exercises will include joint air and sea drills in the north, southwest, northeast of Taiwan, long range live firing in the Taiwan Strait, and missiles test-launches in the sea east of Taiwan, the Eastern Theatre Command said.
China has condemned Pelosi’s visit, with the foreign ministry saying it seriously damages peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait and “has a severe impact on the political foundation of China-US relations, and seriously infringes upon China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity”.
The ministry said it had lodged a strong protest with the United States and accused Washington of being “unscrupulous”.
They have accused the US House Speaker of provocation. Ms Pelosi is the first House Leader to visit Taiwan since 1997.
China views visits by American officials to Taiwan as sending an encouraging signal to the pro-independence camp on the democratic, self-governed island.
Beijing considers Taiwan to be part of its territory and has never renounced using force to bring the island under its control. Taiwan rejects China’s sovereignty claims and says only its people can decide the island’s future.
Russia has also joined the condemnation of the senior American politician.



After landing, an undaunted Ms Pelosi tweeted: “Our delegation’s visit to Taiwan honors America’s unwavering commitment to supporting Taiwan’s vibrant Democracy.
“Our discussions with Taiwan leadership reaffirm our support for our partner & promote our shared interests, including advancing a free & open Indo-Pacific region.”
In a separate statement, she said: “America’s solidarity with the 23 million people of Taiwan is more important today than ever, as the world faces a choice between autocracy and democracy.”
The US Navy has deployed four warships east of Taiwan.
Several US warships were cruising in waters near Taiwan on Tuesday, US military officials said, amid Chinese anger over House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s controversial visit to the island Beijing claims as its territory.

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China to hold live-fire military drills

meanwhile, China announced it would hold live-fire military drills in the Taiwan Strait in response to Pelosi’s visit, the US Navy’s Seventh Fleet said the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier Ronald Reagan was operating in the Philippine Sea, south of Taiwan.
The US Navy published images of the usually Japan-based Ronald Reagan conducting maneuvers with the cargo ship USS Carl Brashear on Sunday.
The Ronald Reagan was accompanied by the USS Higgins, a destroyer that is part of its strike group, a US Navy official said on condition of anonymity.



The aircraft carrier and its group are “on a routine operation in the Western Pacific,” a US official said on condition of anonymity.
Additionally, the amphibious assault ship USS Tripoli was operating east of Taiwan, the US Navy official said, confirming reports from the United States Naval Institute (USNI), a professional association with close ties to the Navy.
The Ronald Reagan and the Tripoli are both carriers of the latest generation F-35 fighter jets, according to the USNI.
US officials have sought to reassure Beijing that the positioning of these two ships in the region was not linked to Pelosi’s visit, who became the highest-ranking elected US official to visit the island since predecessor Newt Gingrich traveled there in 1997.



National Security Council spokesman John Kirby told CNN that Washington would make sure Pelosi had a “safe and secure visit.”
Ms Pelosi is due to meet Taiwan’s President Tsai on Wednesday for a formal meeting and lunch.

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