Taiwan says China’s military threat has not decreased

Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen said on Thursday that the threat of force from China has not decreased but they will not escalate conflict or provoke disputes, Reuters reported.

Following US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan, China extended its largest-ever exercises around the island it claims as its own beyond the four days originally scheduled.

China’s military said on Wednesday it had “completed various tasks” around Taiwan but would conduct regular patrols, signaling a possible end to the days of war games but also that Beijing would maintain pressure on the island, according to a Reuters report.

Chinese exercises during last week included launches of ballistic missiles, some of which flew over the island’s capital of Taipei, and simulated sea and air attacks in surrounding skies and waters.

“At present, the threat of Chinese military force has not decreased,” Tsai told the officers, according to a statement from her office, quoted in Reuters report.

Tsai again stressed that Taiwan would neither escalate conflicts nor provoke disputes, her office added.

“We will firmly defend our sovereignty and national security, and adhere to the line of defense of democracy and freedom,” the statement said.