China’s Peoples Liberation Army has been accused of firing several Tongfeng-class guided missiles into Taiwan’s waters north-east and south-west of the island on Thursday afternoon.
According to Taiwan’s Defence Ministry who confirmed the attack, the country’s armed forces had tracked the firings in real time after they were detected at 1:56 pm (0556 GMT) and had activated related defence systems.
The ministry condemned “this irrational action that is undermining regional peace.”
The confirmation by the Defence Ministry appeared to be one of the first indications that China had actually commenced live-fire air and sea military drills as previously announced by the PLA’s Eastern Theatre Command of joint training drills in six areas surrounding Taiwan.
Chinese manoeuvres around Taiwan went into full swing with widespread firing exercises.
The eastern military command of the PLA reported that long-range shells were fired in the Taiwan Strait, which separates Taiwan from the mainland, and east of the island on Thursday.
“Precision strikes” were also made in the east for practice, Chinese state television reported.
China had ordered the most extensive military exercises in a long time in response to Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan.