China begins military drills around Taiwan after US Speaker visit

The Chinese military has started three days of exercises around Taiwan, after the island democracy's president met with the US House Speaker in defiance of Beijing's repeated threats.

China begins military drills around Taiwan after US Speaker visit

Taipei CNN --

China has announced that it will begin three days of military drills around Taiwan. This announcement comes after Taiwan's President met with the US House Speaker to defy Beijing's repeated threats.

Chinese Eastern Theater Command, which announced the drills on Saturday, described them as "a serious warning against Taiwan separatist forces colluding with external forces and a necessity to defend national sovereignty, territorial integrity, and the integrity of the nation."

In a statement released on Saturday, Senior Colonel Shi Yi, of the People's Liberation Army's Eastern Theater Command, said that the exercises, called 'United Sharp Sword', would include 'combat-ready patrols and exercise in and around Taiwan Strait and to the North, South and East of Taiwan, as well as the sea and airspace,' he added.

The drills are a day after Taiwanese President Tsai ing-wen's return from a ten-day trip to Central America and United States, where she met US House speaker Kevin McCarthy.

Beijing warned repeatedly against the trip, and threatened to take "strong and resolute" measures if it was carried out. China claims Taiwan, the self-governing democratic island, as its territory, even though it has never ruled it. It has spent years trying to isolate Taiwan diplomatically.

Taiwan's Defense Ministry said that it closely monitored the situation and will make every effort in order to defend national sovereignty and security.

The Chinese Communist Party continued to send aircrafts and ships in recent years to harass the area, which threatened the regional situation. Taiwan's Defense Ministry said that the Chinese Communist Party used President Tsai’s transit through the United States and her visit to the United States to justify military exercises. This has caused serious damage to regional peace, security and stability.

The ministry said it would respond in a calm and rational manner, without seeking to escalate the conflict.