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China launched “precise missile strikes” on Thursday off the coast of Taiwan as part of a military exercise that escalated tensions in the region following a visit by U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
China previously announced that its navy and air force were exercising in six zones surrounding Taiwan, which Beijing considers its own territory and promises to annex by force if necessary.
Japanese Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi said five missiles fired by China landed in Japan's exclusive economic zone off Hateruma, the island nation's southernmost inhabited island . He said Japan had protested China's missile launch as a “serious threat to Japan's national security and the security of the Japanese people.”
The exercise was prompted by Pelosi's visit to Taiwan this week and was the reality of China's threats to attack the island republic. Along with its moves to diplomatically isolate Taiwan, China has long been threatening a military response to the island's actions aimed at strengthening its de facto independence with the support of key allies, including the United States.
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