China’s military held missile firing drills in the waters surrounding Taiwan on Thursday, China’s state media reported, a day after a visit by United States House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi to the self-ruled island that Beijing regards as its sovereign territory.
Taiwan’s defence ministry confirmed that several Dongfeng missiles had been fired in waters to the northeast and southwest of the island. Taiwan officials have said the drills violate United Nations rules, invade Taiwan’s territorial space and are a direct challenge to free air and sea navigation.
Russia signaled its support for China’s move, with Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov saying Pelosi’s visit was an “unnecessary provocation” and that China has the sovereign right to hold military drills in it’s territorial waters.
U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said the U.S. opposes any unilateral efforts to change the Taiwan status quo, especially by force, and its policy on Taiwan has not changed.
“I want to emphasize, nothing has changed about our position and I hope very much that Beijing will not manufacture a crisis or seek a pretext to increase this aggressive military activity,” said Secretary of State Antony Blinken in his opening speech during the meeting in Cambodia’s capital, Phnom Penh.
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