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China Continues its Military Exercises Near Taiwan

In this photo released by Xinhua News Agency, an air force pilot from the Eastern Theater Command of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) looks as they conduct a joint combat training exercises around the Taiwan Island on Sunday, Aug. 7, 2022.
In this photo released by Xinhua News Agency, an air force pilot from the Eastern Theater Command of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) looks as they conduct a joint combat training exercises around the Taiwan Island on Sunday, Aug. 7, 2022.

China said Monday it is extending threatening military exercises surrounding Taiwan that have disrupted shipping and air traffic and substantially raised concerns about the potential for conflict in a region crucial to global trade.

The announcement further increases uncertainty in the crisis that developed last week with U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan.

The exercises will include anti-submarine drills, apparently targeting U.S. support for Taiwan in the event of a potential Chinese invasion, according to social media posts from the eastern leadership of China’s ruling Communist Party’s military arm, the People’s Liberation Army.

China claims Taiwan as its own territory and its leader, Xi Jinping, has focused on bringing the self-governing island democracy under the mainland’s control, by force if necessary. The two sides split in 1949 after a civil war, but Beijing considers visits to Taiwan by foreign officials as recognizing its sovereignty.

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