World

China’s military on Monday ended three consecutive days of military drills around Taiwan that included simulating precision strikes and sealing off the island in the wake of a visit between Taiwan’s president and Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.).

The Chinese military said the three days of intense drills were intended as a warning to Taiwan and said forces are “ready to fight at all times” to “resolutely smash any form of ‘Taiwan independence’ and foreign interference attempts.”

Chinese state broadcaster CCTV, citing the People’s Liberation Army, reported the exercises are “simulating the joint sealing off” of Taiwan and “waves of simulated strikes” at targets on the island.

Taiwan had said over the weekend that its own forces were monitoring the drills and had been tasked “to respond [to] these provocative activities.” Taiwan’s government has denounced the drills, Reuters reports.

Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen met last week with McCarthy in Los Angeles, Calif., a meeting that has angered Beijing, which claims the self-governed island as its own territory.

Tensions between the U.S. and China are already at a high point over a number of issues, from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine to fallout from the pandemic.

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China conducted similar drills last year in apparent retaliation after former Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) made a trip to Taiwan. 

Beijing is upset over U.S. support for Taiwan, and warned after McCarthy’s meeting with Tsai on U.S. soil that Washington should not “walk further down a wrong and dangerous road.” The U.S. has remained strategically ambiguous in its position on Taiwanese independence.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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