Asia on edge as China launches air and sea military drills around Taiwan

Taipei accuses Beijing of imitating North Korea after firing missiles across part of island and disrupting flights and shipping

China raised tensions across Asia on Thursday after launching huge military exercises in the air and seas around Taiwan, including firing ballistic missiles close to the island some of which landed in Japanese waters. The brazen show of force disrupted one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes and diverted hundreds of flights.

The exercises, which included rockets, attack helicopters and gunships, were arranged in reaction to a defiant visit to the island by the US House speaker, Nancy Pelosi. Beijing claims Taiwan as its own and has threatened to take it by force.

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