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Taiwan warns that China’s latest military exercises are a rehearsal for a real invasion.
The disputed island has been surrounded by Chinese military vessels in recent days, showing strength on behalf of Beijing.
The Chinese Communist Party has been openly furious about it a congressional delegation led by the Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, visited the island last week.
The delegation proceeded with the visit in direct opposition to Chinese demands that the United States call off the meeting.
After Pelosi’s departure, China’s navy and air force began conducting military exercises in six zones around Taiwan, with some overlapping Taiwan’s territorial waters.
The US responded by deploying more warships to the area.
US officials, including senior members of President Biden’s cabinet, have acknowledged the legitimacy of China’s threats against Taiwan.
This is what Foreign Minister Antony Blinken says China’s military exercises, including missiles that the country recently fired into the Taiwan Strait and Japan’s economic zone represent “significant escalation.”
“China has chosen to overreact and use Speaker Pelosi visit as a pretext to increase provocative military activity in and around the Taiwan Strait,” he told a group of reporters at the ASEAN conference on Friday.
Japan, an ally of both Taiwan and the United States in East Asia, has voiced its own concerns.
Japanese Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi said the missiles “threatened Japan’s national security and the lives of the Japanese people, which we strongly condemn.”
The problem in Japan is exacerbated by the island nation’s lack of a formal standing military, which is prohibited by its constitution. Japan maintains a small “defense force” for protection.
China frequently threatens to annex Taiwan by force if necessary, while Japan and the United States continue to increase their military readiness to potentially respond to such an attack.
Fox News’ Lawrence Richards contributed to this report.