Breaking: China Conducts Largest Ever Live-Fire Missile Exercise Near Taiwan after Pelosi Visit

China on Thursday conducted its largest ever live-fire missile exercise off the shores of Taiwan, just one day after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi concluded her controversial diplomatic visit.

The missiles landed in the Taiwan Strait to the island’s North, South, and East, in the first such drill since 1996, escalating China’s antagonism toward Taiwan, Reuters reported.

China’s Eastern Theatre Command confirmed Thursday afternoon local time that it had tested multiple missiles off the eastern coast of Taiwan. Announced on Tuesday, the military demonstrations and trainings will occur in six different zones in the waters and airspace surrounding Taiwan until noon on Sunday, China has said.

Taiwan’s defense ministry announced that eleven Chinese Dongfeng ballistic missiles had been fired in waters around the island. China’s actions threaten free air and sea navigation, infringe on Taiwan’s territorial rights, and violate United Nations rules, Taiwanese officials said. Taiwan's ruling Democratic Progressive Party called it “irresponsible, illegitimate behavior.”

Denouncing the drills, Taiwan's cabinet spokesman added that the websites of the defense ministry, the foreign ministry and the presidential office experienced hacking attacks.

Over the last couple of days, over 20 Chinese jets crossed the Taiwan Strait median line and ventured into Taiwan’s air defense zone, prompting the island to prepare its own planes to potentially fend off the encroachment.

“They flew in and then flew out, again and again. They continue to harass us,” the Taiwanese source told Reuters.

On Thursday morning, Chinese navy ships and military aircraft crossed the median line several times, a Taiwanese source informed Reuters.

China’s provocation comes after Pelosi made a trip to Taiwan during a congressional delegation tour of Asia. The trip, which was not included on the official itinerary, was meant to re-affirm U.S. solidarity and its “ironclad” commitment to the security of the island, Pelosi said.

The house speaker met with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen during the stop. China's Communist Party warned of possible military consequences in the event that Pelosi didn't cancel, with the Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian threatening that China would “take determined and forceful measures to firmly safeguard national sovereignty and territorial integrity.”

Chinese officials said Pelosi’s visit was reckless and inappropriate, with Foreign Minister Wang Yi called it a “manic, irresponsible and highly irrational” act by the United States, state broadcaster CCTV reported.

“Our punishment of pro-Taiwan independence diehards, external forces is reasonable, lawful,” China's Beijing-based Taiwan Affairs Office said.

Despite Pelosi’s show of support, National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby clarified Monday that the U.S. does not "support Taiwan independence” and that the U.S. “One China Policy,” by which it recognizes the People's Republic of China as the sole Government of China, has not changed.

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China Conducts Largest Ever Live-Fire Missile Exercise Near Taiwan after Pelosi Visit

The missiles landed in the Taiwan Strait to the island’s North, South, and East, in the first such drill ... READ MORE

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