Taiwan's military on Tuesday, 9 August, began a live-fire artillery drill as a show of strength amid massive military exercises being carried out by China in the Taiwan strait over the last few days, a report stated.
Lou Woei-jye, a spokesperson in Taiwan's Eighth Army Corps, confirmed that the drills had begun in the country's Pingtung region, as per AFP.
The tensions have been high in the area ever since China launched military exercises following United States (US) House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi's visit to Taiwan, which China claims as its territory.
Taiwan's drills, which are scheduled to take place on Tuesday, 9 August, and Thursday, 11 August, will see the deployment of hundreds of troops as well as around 40 howitzers, the army stated.
China Conducts Fresh Drills
A day after China's military exercises in Taiwan were scheduled to come to a close, the country's military announced on Monday, 8 August, that it was carrying out fresh drills around the island.
The People's Liberation Army (PLA) Eastern Theatre Command, which oversees the self-ruled island, said it would continue drills in waters near Taiwan, focusing on anti-submarine and air-to-ship strikes, Global Times reported.
It has deployed fighter jets, warships and ballistic missiles, which, according to experts, is preparation for a blockade and ultimate invasion of the self-ruled island.
Although the duration of the latest drills is still unknown, Taiwan has eased flight restrictions near the six areas where China had carried out exercises earlier.
'Not Worried but Concerned': Joe Biden on Chinese Drills
Meanwhile, US President Joe Biden said on Monday that he was not worried about China's military drills in the region, but was concerned about the scope of the exercises.
"I'm not worried, but I’m concerned that they’re moving as much as they are," Biden said while speaking to the press.
He further added, "I don’t think they’re going to do anything more than they are."
Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen has also called for global support for the island.
"I call on the international community to support democratic Taiwan and halt any escalation of the regional security situation," she had tweeted.
Ing-wen also said that it was close monitoring China's drills, and that the island was ready to respond if needed.
“Our government and military are closely monitoring China’s military exercises and information warfare operations, ready to respond as necessary," she asserted.
Adding to the latest developments, Taiwan's Foreign Minster Joseph Wu, while addressing a press conference said that China is using drills to "prepare for invasion."
He further added that China is trying to 'alter status quo' in Asia-Pacific region.
(With inputs from AFP and Global Times.)