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China announces termination of military exercises around Taiwan

Chinese military announces end to unprecedented military drills held in protest of US House speaker’s trip to Taiwan

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China on Wednesday announced an end to unprecedented military exercises around Taiwan, which were launched last week to protest a visit to the self-ruled island by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Eastern Theater Command said it “had successfully completed various missions during recent drills around Taiwan island and effectively tested the troops’ joint operation combat capacity,” Chinese daily Global Times reported.

“The command will regularly organize combat readiness patrols in Taiwan Straits,” the command added.

The announcement came hours after China released a White Paper refusing to rule out the use of force to unify Taiwan with the mainland. However, it added that China will “work with great sincerity to achieve peaceful unification.”

Pelosi paid a brief trip last Tuesday and Wednesday to the self-ruled island, the first in 25 years by a sitting US House speaker.

She made the visit despite Beijing’s warnings that the island is a “breakaway province” and that her visit would be in violation of the country’s “one-China policy.”

Read more: China “will not renounce the use of force” to merge Taiwan

Soon after she left Taipei, Beijing launched massive military exercises last Thursday which were scheduled to end on Sunday, but were extended until this Wednesday.

On Friday morning, China sent military ships and fighter jets across the mid-line of the Taiwan Strait, the Taiwanese defence ministry said, crossing what had for decades been an unofficial buffer zone between China and Taiwan.

Beijing also sanctioned Pelosi and her close family over the trip while downgrading military dialogue with the US and suspending cooperation in climate change besides six other “countermeasures.”

There were no details about the sanctions on Pelosi, but such moves are generally mostly symbolic in nature.

Read more: China brushes off Pentagon’s calls

Pelosi, the second in line to the presidency, was the highest-ranking US official to visit Taiwan in 25 years.

Anadolu with additional input by GVS News Desk

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