Photos show China starting military drills around Taiwan as seaside tourists look on after Pelosi’s visit

  • China is running military drills, including live-fire exercises, in several areas around Taiwan.
  • The drills were announced as Nancy Pelosi visited amid Beijing’s warnings.
  • Photos show military helicopters and projectile smoke around China’s Pingtan Island as tourists look on.

Photos show Chinese fighter jets and warships conducting military drills around Taiwan after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited earlier this week.

China announced it was conducting the exercises, which include live-fire drills, around Taiwan from Thursday to Sunday. State media said the exercises would include live-firing on waters and in the airspace of six areas surrounding the self-governing island, Reuters reported.

Taiwan — an island located around 100 miles from China’s east coast — has been self-governed for decades, though Beijing claims it as its own. China has vocally opposed any recognition of Taiwan as a sovereign country.

Thursday’s military exercises came after Pelosi visited Taipei, the capital of Taiwan, from Tuesday to Wednesday despite continuous warnings from the Chinese government not to do so. 

Photos from Thursday showed Chinese People’s Liberation Army military helicopters by Pingtan Island — one of mainland China’s closest regions to Taiwan — as tourists look on.

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Smoke trails from projectiles launched by the Chinese military are seen as tourists look on from Pingtan Island on August 4, 2022.
Hector Retamal/AFP via Getty Images
chinese military drills taiwan

Tourists look on as a Chinese military helicopter flies past Pingtan Island, China, on August 4, 2022.
Hector Retamal/AFP via Getty Images

Freight ships can also be seen in the Taiwan Strait as military helicopters flew above. The strait is one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes, as Insider’s Huileng Tan reported.

chinese military drills taiwan

Chinese military helicopters fly past Pingtan Island in Taiwan, on August 4, 2022.
Hector Retamal/AFP via Getty Images
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Hong Kong’s TVB news channel shows the Chinese People’s Liberation Army conducting military exercises on August 4, 2022.
Tyrone Siu/Reuters

On Thursday morning, China’s Eastern Theatre Command said it had conducted “multiple firings” of ballistic missiles during the planned drills, Reuters reported. China’s state-run Global Times tabloid posted a video of missiles launching and a map claiming to show they landed in waters north, east, and south of Taiwan. Insider could not independently verify the claim.

Taiwan’s defense ministry said the PLA had fired multiple Dongfeng ballistic missiles at the waters northeast and southwest of Taiwan on Thursday afternoon.

China has been flexing its military muscles since Pelosi’s visit. It flew 27 warplanes, including fighter jets, into Taiwan’s air defense identification zone, having done similarly the day before.

China last fired missiles into waters around Taiwan in 1996, in what was then called the third Taiwan Strait crisis. Multiple experts have warned that Pelosi’s visit could trigger a fourth such crisis.