China to begin military drills encircling Taiwan, Pakistan chimes in | 5 points | World News

From cyber-attacks to military exercises, Taiwan is witnessing increased activity in and around the self-governed island as tensions with China mount following the visit of US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. China announced a series of sanctions against Taiwan and promised “resolute, firm and effective” action in response to Pelosi’s journey. It is about to begin the largest military exercises ever around Taiwan, some of the world’s busiest waterways. (Read also | The Fake Love Story of Nancy Pelosi and Chinese Journalist Hu Xijin)

Here are the latest updates from Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan:

China is expected to begin its 4-day military exercises at 9:30 a.m. IST (0400 GMT), which will include “training activities including live fire drills,” according to an announcement in state media. It will take place in multiple zones around Taiwan and will conclude at noon on Sunday.

Taiwan’s Defense Ministry said on Thursday that its website was subject to cyber-attacks and went offline, days after several of its government websites suffered similar attacks. Taiwan claimed that some of them were launched by China and Russia.

The Group of Seven Advanced Economies condemned the announced military exercises, saying: “There is no justification for using a visit as a pretext for aggressive military activity in the Taiwan Strait”. It stressed that China’s “escalating response could increase tensions and destabilize the region”.

Two unidentified aircraft, likely drones, flew over Taiwan’s Kinmen Islands area on Wednesday night, the defense ministry said, adding that it fired flares to scare them away. Major General Chang Zone-sung said the Chinese drones came in pairs and flew into the Kinmen area twice on Wednesday evening, Reuters reported.

Beijing’s all-weather ‘friend’ Pakistan has expressed support for the ‘One-China’ policy. Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry wrote: “Pakistan is deeply concerned about the evolving situation in the Taiwan Strait, which has serious implications for regional peace and stability.”

(With input from Reuters, AFP)

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