China announces fresh drills around Taiwan

STORY: China has announced fresh military drills around Taiwan just a day after the end of exercises to protest against a visit to the island by U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Monday's announcement confirmed the fears of some security analysts and diplomats that Beijing would maintain pressure on Taiwan's defenses.

Pelosi's visit last week infuriated China, which views the self-ruled island as its own.

It responded by test-launching ballistic missiles over Taipei for the first time, and ditched some lines of dialog with Washington.

Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said China aimed to, quote, 'punish the Taiwan independence forces', as well as safeguarding Chinese territory.

"Taiwan is China's territory. China conducts normal military exercises in the waters surrounding its own territory. It is open, transparent and professional. Relevant Chinese departments have also issued announcements in a timely manner. This is in line with domestic law, international law, and international practice."

Taiwan’s foreign ministry said China was deliberately creating crises. It demanded Beijing stop its military actions and “pull back from the edge”.

China's Eastern Theatre Command said the joint drills would focus on anti-submarine and sea assault operations.

But the duration and precise location of the latest drills is not yet known.

Taiwan has already eased flight restrictions near the six earlier Chinese exercise areas surrounding the island.

During the last four days of drills, eleven short-range ballistic missiles were fired and Chinese warships, fighter jets and drones maneuvered extensively around the island.