BEIJING: Following US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s contentious visit to the self-governing island last week, China’s largest-ever military drills outside Taiwan came to an end on Sunday.
Beijing has reacted angrily to Pelosi’s trip, which saw the highest-ranking elected US politician to visit Taiwan in many years tear up a number of agreements and talks with Washington, most notably those on climate change and defence.
Analysts assert that in addition, it has deployed fighter jets, warships, and ballistic missiles all around Taiwan in readiness for a blockade and ultimate invasion of the island. Even though Beijing has not officially declared that the exercises have ended, they were supposed to on Sunday.
Six of the seven “temporary danger zones” that China had advised flights to avoid were no longer in place as of midday on Sunday, according to Taiwan’s transport ministry, indicating a partial winding down of the drills. The seventh zone, which is located in the waters east of Taiwan, was stated to be in place until 10 am (0200 GMT) local time on Monday.