China is using US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's visit as an excuse to prepare for an invasion, Taiwan foreign minister Joseph Wu said.
Reuters quoting the minister reported, "China has used the drills to prepare for the invasion of Taiwan," Wu said, urging international support to safeguard "peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait". "It's conducting large-scale military exercises, missile launches as well as cyber-attacks, a disinformation campaign and economic coercion in an attempt to weaken public morale in Taiwan,”, he said.
Wu spoke as military tensions simmer after the scheduled end on Sunday of four days of the largest-ever Chinese exercises surrounding the island - drills that included ballistic missile launches and simulated sea and air attacks in the skies and seas surrounding Taiwan, the publication reported.
China's Eastern Theatre Command announced on Monday that it would conduct fresh joint drills focusing on ant-submarine and sea assault operations - confirming the fears of some security analysts and diplomats that Beijing would keep up the pressure on Taiwan's defences.
Following the end of Pelosi's visit, China ditched some lines of communication with the United States, including military talks and discussions on climate change. Taiwan on Tuesday started its long-scheduled drills and fired howitzer artillery out to sea in the southern county of Pingtung.
Reuters reported US Under Secretary of Defence for Policy Colin Kahl saying that US military would continue to carry out voyages through the Taiwan Strait in the coming weeks. China has never ruled out taking Taiwan by force and on Monday Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said that China was conducting normal military exercises 'in our waters' in an open, transparent and professional way, adding Taiwan was part of China.