China increases military drills as tensions with US heat up
Over the past few weeks, China has been increasingly holding military drills around East Asia, putting on a public display of its military capabilities. The US and China have experienced rising tensions over the past several months, which were only elevated by Washington’s military activities and the visit of a US cabinet secretary to Taiwan. Experts state that the People’s Liberation Army is considering live-fire exercises near Guam, which is US territory.
The US has also been stepping up its military exercises, sending two aircraft carrier strike groups on dual carrier exercises in the South China Sea twice in July. Alex Azar, US Health and Human Services Secretary, visited Taiwan earlier this week, adding to the tensions. Azar is the highest-ranking US official to visit the self-governing island in decades. Beijing regards Taiwan as Chinese territory, however, the autonomous country refuses to be under China’s rule. On Monday afternoon, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian called Azar’s visit to Taiwan a “serious breach” of US commitments on Taiwan.