The large-scale military drills Beijing launched around Taiwan in response to US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to the island involve the “use of advanced weapons,” including China’s state-of-the-art hypersonic DF-17 missiles, China’s Global Times newspaper reported on Wednesday.
The ongoing exercises involve a “joint blockade, sea assault and land and air combat trainings,” the state media outlet said, adding that Chinese J-20 stealth fighter jets were taking part in the exercise as well.
Global Times called the drills “unprecedented,” adding that Chinese missiles were expected to “fly over the island of Taiwan for the first time.” People’s Liberation Army (PLA) forces are also expected to enter the area within 12 nautical miles of the island, and could potentially surround the island “entirely,” it added, citing military “experts.”
The Chinese Armed Forces Eastern Theater Command said on Wednesday that the forces involved in the exercise conducted “realistic combat-oriented” drills to the north, southwest and southeast of the island.
The drills are expected to run at least until Sunday noon, Xinhua News Agency reported on Tuesday evening, adding that they will involve “live-fire drills in six large maritime areas and their air space surrounding the island of Taiwan.”