China holds military exercises as US legislators visit Taiwan

China military exercises

China has said it held military drills around Taiwan, as a group of United States lawmakers visited the self-ruled island in a show of support that Beijing slammed as “deliberately provocative”.

The Chinese military sent frigates, bombers and fighter planes to the East China Sea and the area around Taiwan, the People’s Liberation Army Eastern Theatre Command said on Friday, in a statement released as the US legislators were holding a news conference in Taipei.

“This operation is in response to the recent frequent release of wrong signals by the United States on the Taiwan issue,” it said, without mentioning the visiting US delegation.

“The US bad actions and tricks are completely futile and very dangerous. Those who play with fire will burn themselves,” it said.

In a separate statement, China’s Defence Ministry said the US visit was “deliberately provocative” and had “led to further escalation of tension in the Taiwan Strait”.

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