TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — China announced that it will hold military exercises that include live-fire drills in six zones surrounding Taiwan following House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's arrival in Taiwan.
At 10:44 p.m. on Tuesday (Aug. 2), Pelosi and her congressional delegation arrived at Taipei Songshan Airport aboard a U.S. Air Force Boeing C-40C. At 10:59 p.m., Chinese state-run mouthpiece the Global Times released an announcement from the People's Liberation Army (PLA) saying it would hold "important military exercises and training activities including live-fire drills" in six areas around Taiwan proper from Aug. 4 to Aug. 7.
The PLA has marked vast swaths of waters off the coast of Taiwan, including areas to the northwest, north, northeast, east, southwest, and southeast of Taiwan. The zones to the north, northeast, and southwest of the country appear particularly close to territorial waters.
The Chinese military said that "for safety reasons" unauthorized ships and aircraft are barred from entering these areas during the specified dates. In comparison with the live-fire zones during the Third Taiwan Strait Crisis from 1995-1996, the areas designated this time appear to be closer to Taiwan.
In response, Taiwan's Ministry of National Defense (MND) deplored the exercises as an attempt to "threaten our important ports and urban areas, and unilaterally undermine regional and stability." The ministry said this move will sully China's international image, and it expressed its condemnation of the drills.
The MND emphasized that the Chinese Communist Party's acts of "military intimidation" are designed to instill fear in the minds of the Taiwanese. The ministry said that it is using joint intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance to maintain full awareness of the dynamics both at land and sea in the Taiwan Strait and stressed that it has the "determination, ability, and confidence" to ensure national security.
The following are the coordinates of the locations where these exercises will be held:
25°15′26″N 120°29′20″E, 24°50′30″N 120°05′45″E, 25°04′32″N 119°51′22″E, 25°28′12″N 120°14′30″E
26°07′00″N 121°57′00″E, 25°30′00″N 121°57′00″E, 25°30′00″N 121°28′00″E, 26°07′00″N 121°28′00″E
25°34′00″N 122°50′00″E, 25°03′00″N 122°50′00″E, 25°03′00″N 122°11′00″E, 25°34′00″N 122°11′00″E
22°56′00″N 122°40′00″E, 23°38′00″N 122°51′00″E, 23°38′00″N 123°23′00″E, 22°56′00″N 123°09′00″E
21°14′00″N 121°33′00″E, 21°33′00″N 121°18′00″E, 21°07′00″N 120°43′00″E, 20°48′00″N 120°59′00″E
22°43′00″N 119°14′00″0E, 22°10′00N 119°06′00″E, 21°33′00″N 120°29′00″E, 22°09′00″N 120°32′00″E
Map showing zones where Chinese military exercises will be held from Aug. 4-7. (PLA image)
Map showing live-fire zones during Third Taiwan Strait Crisis from 1995-1996. (Australian National University image)