China-Taiwan tensions: Last day of military drills in China

China-Taiwan tensions: Last day of military drills in China
The Chinese People's Liberation Army conducts long-range missile tests in the Taiwan Strait. Credit: Lai Qiaoquan/Xinhua

Beijing will end its largest ever military drills around Taiwan on Sunday, following a furious response to US Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited the island that sent relations between Washington and Beijing plummeting to a new low.

China's military maneuvers included sending fighter jets, warships and ballistic missiles into what analysts say is a mock blockade and invasion of Taiwan.

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Security experts told AFP that the China's military exercises served as a warning, as Chinese forces seem able to completely blockade the island as well as preventing American troops from coming to its aid.

"In some areas, its capabilities may even exceed those of the United States," said Grant Newsham, a former US Navy officer and researcher at the Japan Forum for Strategic Studies.

“If a (future) battle is confined to an area directly around Taiwan, then the Chinese navy will be a strong opponent. And if (…) the Americans and the Japanese do not intervene, things will be very difficult for Taiwan."

Meanwhile, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres warned that "it is impossible to solve the most pressing problems in the world without effective dialogue and cooperation between the two countries", according to a UN spokesperson.

Air traffic for travelers has restarted in Taiwan after China's military drills in the island. Planes can fly over Taiwanese airspace except in an area east of the island, which will be avoided till Monday morning.


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