Taiwan says it has observed "multiple" Chinese planes and ships operating in the Taiwan Strait, believing them to be simulating an attack on the self-ruled democracy's main island.
Taiwan has accused the Chinese army of simulating an attack on its main island during massive military exercises after US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's visit to Taipei.
Beijing continued on Saturday some of its largest-ever war drills drills around Taiwan — exercises aimed at practising a blockade and ultimate invasion of the island, analysts say.
Taipei said it observed "multiple" Chinese planes and ships operating in the Taiwan Strait, believing them to be simulating an attack on the self-ruled democracy's main island.
"Multiple batches of Communist planes and ships conducting activities around the Taiwan Strait, some of which crossed the median line," its defence ministry said in a statement, referring to a demarcation line that runs down the Taiwan Strait which Beijing does not recognise.
In a bid to show just how close China's forces have been getting to Taiwan's shores, Beijing's military overnight released a video of an air force pilot filming the island's coastline and mountains from his cockpit.
And Beijing also said they would hold a live-fire drill in a southern part of the Yellow Sea — located between China and the Korean peninsula — from Saturday until August 15.
The four-day drills encircling Taiwan that are supposed to end on Sunday involve live firing on the waters and in the airspace, with as many as four missiles believed to have flown over the capital Taipei in an unprecedented escalation.
But Taipei has remained defiant, insisting it would not be cowed by its "evil neighbour".
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Cratering US-China ties
Relations between Washington and Beijing have nosedived in the wake of Pelosi's trip to China's self-ruled neighbour — which it claims as its territory — prompting calls from the UN for an urgent de-escalation of tensions.
And Friday saw the environment become the latest victim of the geopolitical jousting.
Beijing announced unspecified sanctions on Pelosi and said it would withdraw from a series of talks and cooperation agreements with Washington — most notably on climate change and defence cooperation.
The world's two largest polluters had pledged to work together to accelerate climate action this decade and vowed to meet regularly to tackle the crisis — a deal that now looks shaky.
National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby told reporters in Washington the decision was "fundamentally irresponsible."
"They're actually punishing the whole world, because the climate crisis doesn't recognise geographic boundaries and borders," Kirby said.
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