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Guwahati: The People’s Liberation Army of China has begun military exercises including live firing along the waterways and airspace surrounding the island nation of Taiwan, as reported by the Chinese state television on Thursday. 

The 4-day military exercises which began at 12:00 p.m. (0400 GMT) on Thursdays set to end at 12:00 p.m. (1400 GMT) on Sunday. The military exercises involve “training activities including live-fire drills”, reported the Chinese state broadcaster CCTV. 

It needs to be mentioned here that, U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited Taiwan on Tuesday on a trip she said shows an unwavering American commitment to the Chinese-claimed self-ruled island of Taiwan. Pelosi pledged solidarity and hailed Taiwan’s democracy and said that the US will not abandon its commitment to the island nation of Taiwan.

China had condemned this visit as a threat to peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait.

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Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian earlier on Monday said, “It would be a gross interference in China’s internal affairs if Pelosi visits Taiwan, and warned that it would lead to very serious developments and consequences. The Chinese People’s Liberation Army will never sit idly by, and China will take resolute responses and strong countermeasures to defend its sovereignty and territorial integrity”. 

Following Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan, Beijing in retaliation has responded by starting its largest-ever military exercises which involve 4-days of training activities including- live-fire artillery drills, encircling Taiwan since Thursday. 

The Taiwan defence ministry in a statement on Thursday said, “Our military will continue to reinforce its alertness level and will react appropriately to the enemy situation. Taiwan’s military is closely monitoring the situation in the Taiwan Strait and near Taiwan’s outlying islands and all of its troops are carrying out daily training as usual”.

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Taiwan’s ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) said that “China is conducting drills on the busiest international waterways and aviation routes and that is irresponsible, illegitimate behaviour”. 

Meanwhile, the Group of Seven (G7) has condemned the announced military drills, saying “there is no justification to use of a visit as the pretext for aggressive military activity in the Taiwan Strait”. 

Beijing’s all-weather “friend” Pakistan has expressed its support for the One-China policy. Pakistan’s foreign office on Wednesday in a statement said, “Pakistan is deeply concerned over the evolving situation in the Taiwan Strait, which has serious implications for regional peace and stability”. 

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