China announces live-fire naval drills ahead of possible Pelosi visit to Taiwan

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China’s military said it would hold live-fire naval drills in the Taiwan Strait on Saturday ahead of a possible visit to Taiwan by United States House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Tensions are high in the region with a US strike group heading for the South China Sea and Pelosi possibly en route to Taiwan on his tour of Asian Allies such as Japan and Malaysia. Pelosi could become the highest elected American to visit Taiwan since 1997.

Chinese officials exploded in anger at the proposal, saying such a visit would violate the one-China policy and aid an illegal rebellion. If Pelosi tries to fly to Taiwan, a Chinese state media personality has even suggested shooting down his plane.

The Chinese drills were to take place over a 13-hour period, according to state media.

FORMER CHINESE STATE MEDIA EDITOR SUGGEST NANCY PELOSI BE ‘RESTAINED’, ‘PUNISHED’ BY CCP FOR VISIT TO TAIWAN

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.

The People’s Republic of China has long claimed sovereignty over Taiwan and the Taiwan Strait, the relatively narrow strip of ocean between the island of Taiwan and the Chinese mainland. The Chinese military has frequently sent planes to the area, testing Taiwan’s air defense zone.

The United States has no official relations with Taiwan – also known as the Republic of China – and maintains a One China Policy which recognizes the People’s Republic of China as a legitimate successor nation.

However, America has stepped up its engagement with the island as China seeks to isolate it from global institutions.

Members of the Chinese navy stand on the deck of the guided missile destroyer Suzhou, May 18, 2022, in Zhoushan, China's Zhejiang province.

Members of the Chinese navy stand on the deck of the guided missile destroyer Suzhou, May 18, 2022, in Zhoushan, China’s Zhejiang province.
(VCG/VCG via Getty Images)

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US military officials are also moving forces into the ocean area near Taiwan ahead of the visit.

The Pentagon sent an aircraft carrier to the South China Sea ahead of a possible visit to Taiwan by Pelosi.

The USS Ronald Reagan and a strike group are currently there after leaving a port in Singapore on Tuesday. A Navy spokesperson confirmed the news, but said it was a planned trip.

The USS Ronald Reagan in 2014.

The USS Ronald Reagan in 2014.
(Stock)

“I can confirm that the USS Ronald Reagan and her strike group are now en route, operating in the South China Sea after a successful port visit to Singapore,” the lieutenant said. said Mark Langford. “As a matter of principle, we do not discuss future ship movements; however, I will add that Reagan is continuing normal, scheduled operations as part of his routine patrol in support of a free and open Indo-Pacific.”