‘Largest ever’ military drills as China fires missiles and stokes fear of WW3
China's increasing tension with Taiwan went up another notch as the former launched "precision missile strikes" around the latter during its military exercises.
The missile strikes were a punishment for Taiwan who welcomed US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi earlier this week, with the aim of demonstrating the US' commitment to Taiwan's democracy.
John Kirby, the White House Coordinator for Strategic Communications at the National Security Council representative, warned that China could respond with missile strikes near Taiwan to demonstrate its disapproval of a US politician visiting the region.
READ MORE: China launches multiple ballistic missiles just 12 miles off Taiwan amid fears of 'accidental WW3'
Footage of multiple Dongfeng series missiles being fired was shown by state media, while videos of beachgoers staring at the missiles were posted on social media.
The last time China had fired missiles into waters surrounding Taiwan was in 1996 and has since sparked fears that World War 3 might be a possibility.
“Long-range armed live fire precision missile strikes were carried out on selected targets in the eastern area of the Taiwan Strait,” confirmed the Eastern Theatre Command of the People’s Liberation Army – the ruling Communist Party’s military wing.
They added: "The expected outcome was achieved,” as well as stating it had "comprehensively tested the combat capability of the troops under actual combat conditions.”
As well as the missile strikers across Taiwan, Chinese navy ships and military aircrafts reportedly also crossed the Taiwan Strait median in what has caused an extreme escalation of tension in the region.
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A Taiwanese source said: "They sneaked in [and] they continue to harass us and increase our air defence pressure.”
Pelosi's visit to Taiwan has angered China, with the country's Foreign Minister Wang Yi calling the US House Speaker's visit a "manic, irresponsible and highly irrational” act.
Taiwan’s ruling Democratic Progressive Party accused China of “irresponsible, illegitimate behaviour”, as some believed Pelosi's trip was all the ammunition China needed to finally rule Taiwan.
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