China announces military exercises as Pelosi’s possible trip to Taiwan looms:

A security guard stands near a sculpture of the Chinese Communist Party flag at the Chinese Communist Party Museum on May 26, 2022 in Beijing. China said it was conducting military exercises on Saturday off its coast opposite Taiwan.

By Han Guan/AP

hide caption

toggle caption

By Han Guan/AP

China announces military exercises as Pelosis possible trip to Taiwan

A security guard stands near a sculpture of the Chinese Communist Party flag at the Chinese Communist Party Museum on May 26, 2022 in Beijing. China said it was conducting military exercises on Saturday off its coast opposite Taiwan.

By Han Guan/AP

BEIJING — China said it was conducting military exercises off its coast opposite Taiwan on Saturday after warning Speaker Nancy Pelosi of the U.S. House of Representatives to drop possible plans to visit China. island democracy, which Beijing claims as part of its territory.

The ruling Communist Party’s military wing, the People’s Liberation Army, was conducting “live-fire drills” near the Pingtan Islands off Fujian province from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., the official Xinhua news agency said. . The Maritime Safety Administration has warned ships to avoid the area.

Such exercises usually involve artillery. The one-sentence announcement gave no indication whether Saturday’s drill could also include missiles, fighter jets or other weapons.

Pelosi, who would be the highest elected American to visit Taiwan since 1997, has not yet confirmed whether she will go. President Xi Jinping on Thursday warned his American counterpart, Joe Biden, in a phone call against “external interference” in Beijing’s relations with the island.

China says Taiwan has no right to conduct foreign relations. He sees visits from US officials as encouragement for the island to formalize its decades-old de facto independence.

The Department of Defense warned Washington this week not to allow Pelosi, who is on par with Biden as head of one of the three branches of government, to travel to Taiwan. A spokesman said the PLA would take unspecified “strong measures” to stop pro-independence activities.

The PLA has flown increasing numbers of fighter jets and bombers near Taiwan and has in the past fired missiles at shipping lanes towards the island.

Taiwan and China separated in 1949 after a civil war that ended in a communist victory on the mainland.

The two governments say they are one country, but disagree on who gets national leadership. They have no official relations but are linked by billions of dollars in trade and investment.

Leave a Comment