China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) said Wednesday that it had “completed various tasks” around Taiwan after days of military exercises but said it would conduct regular patrols in the area, signaling that Beijing will keep up the pressure on the island in the wake of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit.
In a statement, the PLA’s Eastern Theater Command said it had “successfully completed various tasks, and effectively tested the integrated joint combat capabilities of the troops.”
The statement added that the command will “keep an eye on the changes in the situation in the Taiwan Strait, continue to carry out training and preparation for combat, organize regular combat readiness patrols in the direction of the Taiwan Strait, and resolutely defend national sovereignty and territorial integrity.”
Since Pelosi visited Taiwan, the Chinese military held its largest-ever military exercises around the island and took unprecedented steps during those drills, including the simulation of a blockade and firing missiles over Taiwan. China has also flown planes across the median line that separates the Taiwan Strait every day since Pelosi’s visit, an operation that is now expected to be routine.
Pelosi said Wednesday that the US can’t let China establish a “new normal” in its military drills around Taiwan, which are a consequence of her visit. “What we saw with China is that they were trying to establish sort of a new normal. And we just can’t let that happen,” she said.
Tensions could escalate further in the region as the US says it’s planning to send plans and ships into sensitive waters near China, including the Taiwan Strait and the South China Sea.