Taiwan canceled airline flights Thursday as China fired missiles near the self-ruled island in retaliation for a top American lawmaker’s visit, adding to the risk of disruptions in the flow of Taiwanese-made processor chips needed by global telecom and auto industries.
China ordered ships and planes to avoid military drills that encircled Taiwan, which the mainland’s ruling Communist Party claims as part of its territory. The Hong Kong newspaper The South China Morning Post called the drills an “effective Taiwan blockade.”
Beijing announced “live-fire exercises” after Speaker Nancy Pelosi of the House of Representatives arrived Tuesday for a one-day visit, defying warnings from Beijing. It earlier banned imports of hundreds of Taiwanese food items including fish, fruit and cookies.
The two sides, which split in 1949 after a civil war, have no official ties but one of the world’s busiest technology and manufacturing relationships.