China claims 'precision missile strikes' in Taiwan Strait

It earlier announced that military exercises were underway in six zones surrounding the island



Beijing. Photo: AP
Beijing. Photo: AP

By AP

Published: Thu 4 Aug 2022, 12:04 PM

China says it conducted “precision missile strikes” in the Taiwan Strait on Thursday as part of military exercises that have raised tensions in the region to their highest level in decades.

China earlier announced that military exercises by its navy, air force and other departments were underway in six zones surrounding Taiwan.

The drills were prompted by a visit to the island by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi this week.

“Long-range armed live fire precision missile strikes were carried out on selected targets in the eastern area of the Taiwan Strait," the Eastern Theatre Command of the People's Liberation Army said in a statement on its social media platform.

“The expected outcome was achieved," it added. No other details were given.

China’s official Xinhua News Agency reported the exercises were joint operations focused on “blockade, sea target assault, strike on ground targets, and airspace control.”

While the US has not said it would intervene, it has bases and forward-deployed assets in the area, including aircraft carrier battle groups. US law requires the government to treat threats to Taiwan, including blockades, as matters of “grave concern."

The drills are due to run from Thursday to Sunday and include missile strikes on targets in the seas north and south of the island in an echo of the last major Chinese military drills aimed at intimidating Taiwan's leaders and voters held in 1995 and 1996.

While China has given no word on numbers of troops and military assets involved, the exercises appear to be the largest held near Taiwan in geographical terms.

The exercises involved troops from the navy, air force, rocket force, strategic support force and logistic support force, Xinhua reported.

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