The Chinese military has launched precision strikes in the Taiwan Strait.

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Hanna has begun its largest military exercises in 25 years in the seas around Taiwan, following a visit by US Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

China’s Eastern Military Command said on Thursday it had fired long-range precision strikes at specific areas in the eastern part of the Taiwan Strait as part of planned drills.

The exercise, spread across six venues, is scheduled to end at 12 noon (4am GMT) on Sunday.

Ms. Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan, the first by a sitting House speaker in 25 years, has angered China, which views the island nation as a separate province that can be annexed by force if necessary. should be merged. China views visits to Taiwan by foreign officials as recognition of its sovereignty.

“Today the world faces a choice between democracy and dictatorship,” Ms. Pelosi said in a brief speech Wednesday during a meeting with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen. “America’s commitment to protecting democracy here in Taiwan and around the world remains ironclad.”

The Biden administration and Ms. Pelosi have said the United States is committed to the so-called One China policy, which recognizes Beijing but allows informal ties and defense ties with Taipei. The administration discouraged but did not prevent Ms. Pelosi from attending.

The drills are the biggest for Taiwan since 1995, when China launched missiles in a large-scale exercise to show its displeasure at a visit to the US by then-Taiwanese President Lee Teng-hui.

China has already flown fighter jets and other warplanes to Taiwan and banned imports of citrus and fish from Taiwan.

Mrs Tsai has pushed back strongly against Beijing’s military exercises.

“In the face of deliberately heightened military threats, Taiwan will not back down,” Mrs. Tsai said in her meeting with Pelosi. “We will firmly uphold the sovereignty of our country and maintain the line of defense of democracy.”

Nancy Pelosi, left, poses with South Korean National Assembly Speaker Kim Jin-pyo.

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On Thursday, Ms. Pelosi met with South Korean National Assembly Speaker Kim Jin-pyo and other senior members of parliament to discuss regional security, economic cooperation and climate issues. Before their talk, the couple bumped elbows and posed for pictures in front of the national flags of South Korea and the United States.

Later in the day, Ms. Pelosi plans to visit an inter-Korean border area jointly controlled by the U.S.-led United Nations Command and North Korea, a South Korean official said on condition of anonymity. The petition said that she was not authorized to speak to the media. Case.

If the visit takes place, Ms. Pelosi will be the highest-ranking American to visit the Joint Security Area since then-President Donald Trump went there in 2019 to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

Any critical statement from Ms. Pelosi about North Korea is sure to draw a strong response from Pyongyang.

On Wednesday, the North’s foreign ministry criticized the US for his visit to Taiwan, saying that “the current situation clearly shows that the US is unnecessarily interfering in the internal affairs of other countries.”

John Kirby, a spokesman for the National Security Council in Washington, tried to play down fears. He told ABC’s “Good Morning America” ​​on Wednesday that U.S. officials “don’t believe we’re on the brink, and there’s certainly no reason to talk about being on the brink.” “

Addressing Beijing’s threats, Ms. Pelosi said she hoped it was clear that while China has barred Taiwan from participating in certain international meetings, “that they think they should show friendship and support.” will not be a hindrance to people coming to Taiwan.”