China starts using live fire in largest-ever Taiwan military exercises

Naval ships and military aircraft are involved in a major naval blockade of the island (Picture: Reuters/AFP)

Naval ships and military aircraft are involved in a major naval blockade of the island (Picture: Reuters/AFP)

China is using live-fire amid massive military exercises off the coast of Taiwan, it has been claimed.

Amid a dramatic escalation of tensions and fears of an ‘accidental war’ with the USA, the Asian superpower has started a naval blockade around the contested island, threatening trade and travel.

China largest-ever military exercises encircling Taiwan straddle vital international shipping lanes and come after a controversial visit to the island by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

The drills have already led to airlines announcing that they will avoid the area, as fears mount of a further escalation.

Taiwan wants to be a self-governing nation, but China sees the area as a breakaway region and has repeatedly threatened to take it by force, leading to fears of an invasion similar to Russia’s war on Ukraine.

Taiwan is hopelessly outgunned but the USA says it will defend Taiwan’s right to self-determination.

Ms Pelosi, whose visit was branded ‘irrational and manic’, met Taiwanese leaders yesterday and made a speech about solidarity with the island.

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Pictures have emerged of tanks on a beach near Taiwan, a huge build-up of naval ships off Taiwan and various military aircraft.

The exercises, which began around 12pm local (5am British time) involved ‘live-firing’, state media said.

‘Six major areas around the island have been selected for this actual combat exercise and during this period, relevant ships and aircraft should not enter the relevant waters and airspaces’, broadcaster CCTV reported.

The exercises will take place in multiple zones around Taiwan – at some points within just 20 kilometres (12 miles) of the shore – and …read more

Source:: Metro News

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