China starts military drill as US diplomat arrives in Taiwan

China starts military drill as US diplomat arrives in Taiwan

  • Exercise begins on same day state department official Keith Krach is due to meet Taiwanese president Tsai Ing-wen
  • Chinese defence ministry spokesman says action is in response to ‘current situation’ across the strait

China started a military exercise near the Taiwan Strait on Friday, in a new warning to the United States and pro-independence forces in Taiwan to coincide with a visit to the self-ruled island of a senior US diplomat.

Chinese defence ministry spokesman Ren Guoqiang said in a press conference on Friday morning that the PLA’s Eastern Theatre Command would begin actual combat exercises near the strait “starting today”.

“This is a legitimate and necessary action taken in response to the current situation across the Taiwan Strait and the safeguarding of national sovereignty and territorial integrity,” he said.