Pelosi Taiwan visit – live: China begins largest-ever military drills after US House speaker’s visit

China started its largest-ever military exercises around Taiwan today after Nancy Pelosi’s controversial visit to the island nation.

US House speaker Pelosi left Taiwan on a US Air Force jet on last evening, concluding a historic and high-stakes visit that drew a slew of angry responses from China. Her next stop is South Korea.

Taiwan said on Thursday that it had fired flares to drive away an unidentified aircraft — probably drones — that had flown in on Wednesday night above the area of its Kinmen islands.

Beijing warned of “punishing” those who offend it, while Chinese state media called the speaker’s trip an “opening salvo of war”.

On Thursday, Ms Pelosi met South Korean National Assembly speaker Kim Jin Pyo and other senior members of Parliament for talks on regional security, economic cooperation and climate issues.

Meanwhile, Russia backed China’s assertion that the trip was a deliberate attempt by Washington to irritate Beijing, while a Kremlin spokesperson said that the tension created from Ms Pelosi’s trip to Taiwan “should not be underestimated”.

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