(NewsNation) — China announced a new wave of military exercises off the coast of Taiwan Monday morning. This announcement came just hours after a delegation from the U.S. arrived unannounced on the island.
There have already been reports of China sending war planes and ships to the waters off Taiwan. All these military maneuvers are part of the new set of drills that were announced.
The latest video from Chinese state media shows the warplanes and ships firing missiles and guns. There is also a military truck in a desert firing rockets.
Similar military drills were implemented during the visit from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi less than two weeks ago.
Pelosi was the highest-level member of the U.S. government to visit Taiwan in 25 years, and her trip prompted nearly two weeks of threatening military exercises by China, which claims the island as its own.
In those drills, Beijing fired missiles over the island and into the Taiwan Strait and sent warplanes and navy ships across the waterway’s midline, which has long been a buffer between the sides that split amid civil war in 1949.
As the military exercises continue, China’s Eastern Theater Command released this statement Monday saying the exercises serve as, “a stern deterrent to us and Taiwan continuing to play political tricks to undermine peace and stability across Taiwan Strait.”
The latest delegation is made up of about five members of Congress from both parties. They’re led by Sen. Ed Markey from Massachusetts.
After landing in Taiwan, the group met with the island’s top leaders to talk about issues like trade and security. Taiwan’s leader said that this visit shows the U.S. stands with the island; but for China, this brings even more outrage with the U.S. recognizing the island’s claims as its own.
Following Pelosi’s trip, those military exercises from China lasted days and included firing almost a dozen ballistic missiles into the sea surrounding Taiwan. It is unknown how long these new military drills will last.
China accuses the U.S. of encouraging the island’s independence through the sale of weapons and engagement between U.S. politicians and the island’s government.
Washington says it does not support independence, has no formal diplomatic ties with the island and maintains that the two sides should settle their dispute peacefully — but it is legally bound to ensure the island can defend itself against any attack.
Columnist, author and lawyer Gordon Chang believes, “We are at the most dangerous point in history,” even more dangerous than the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962.
“The reason is, we know that the archives show that neither Khrushchev nor Kennedy were willing to use their nuclear weapons. We don’t know that about Xi Jinping, who has actually threatened to use his nukes against Australia, Japan, the United States and others in within the last year,” Chang explained.
Chang believes that it’s true that we are on the edge of war with China, referencing Henry Kissinger’s interview Friday. Chang said that he believes that the U.S. has taught the Chinese to ignore their warnings in the past.
“They are testing us,” he said, “And they are testing us in ways which are extremely provocative and dangerous. You know, the Chinese know that they shouldn’t start a war with us. But you’ve got a lot of flag officers there who actually are itching to kill Americans, they’ve been indoctrinated to do it, they want to do it emotionally. And when you know, countries want to kill others, they usually succeed.”
Chang explained that if there is a war that breaks out between China and the U.S., Americans should be prepared for the worst.
“Americans should not assume that they’ll have electricity, they should not assume that they will have water. And they can assume that our traffic lights will be controlled in Beijing. We have allowed this situation to develop by allowing Chinese equipment in our country in our telecom networks and others, and the Chinese will use it in the first moments of a war,” Chang said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.