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US carrier patrols waters near Taiwan as China rehearses for war after Pelosi’s visit

The Navy has deployed an aircraft carrier battle group to the Philippine Sea near Taiwan as China encircles the island with live-fire air and naval exercises, hours after US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi left on Wednesday night .

The aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan and support ships have been deployed and are underway in the Philippine Sea for “planned operations,” a spokesman for the US Navy’s Seventh Fleet told the Daily Caller News Foundation on Wednesday night. They stand by as China begins its biggest military exercises in six areas around Taiwan from August 4 to 7 Reuters mentiontedthat Chinese state media he claimed they are a practice run for a future Taiwan “reunification” operation.

“As a policy, we do not discuss future ship movements. However, I will add that the Reagan continues normal, scheduled operations as part of her routine patrol in support of a free and open Indo-Pacific,” said Seventh Fleet spokeswoman Haley Sims.

Two amphibious ships outfitted with F-35s are accompanying the strike group, the USNI said. In addition, two amphibious assault ships are nearby, with the USS Tripoli on standby near Okinawa and the USS America recently embarked from its port in Japan.

The Reagan first departed for the South China Sea from the Philippines on July 26 before entering the Philippine Sea shortly before August 1, USNI mentionted. A Navy spokesman told DCNF there were “no changes to the schedule to report” as of Wednesday afternoon.

China also has at least two aircraft carriers deployed in the region, according at USNI. So far, Chinese military exercises near Taiwan have not threatened US positions and the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) has not acted “unprofessionally” towards deployed US troops, a defense official said. confirmed in the US Naval Institute (USNI) News on Thursday morning.

China’s defense ministry claimed it fired a total of 11 ballistic missiles into waters north, south and east of Taiwan on Thursday, according to Reuters mentionted. Japan’s defense ministry said five of the missiles landed in Japan’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ), territorial waters recognized under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, a move that could potentially be perceived as escalating; according in The Japan Times.

China announced the military drills in response to Pelosi’s controversial visit to the island, which China considers a breakaway region. While the White House denied supporting Taiwan independence on Monday, Pelosi reaffirmed her support for a free and democratic government in Taiwan during a meeting with President Tsai Ing-Wen on Wednesday.

Taiwan repelled Chinese drones flying over Taiwan’s Kinmen Islands, off China’s southeast coast, with flares on Wednesday night, Reuters mentionted. Taiwan’s military as well Increased alert level on Thursday and began heavy artillery exercises. (RELATED: 27 Chinese warplanes invade Taiwan’s air defense zone)

Taiwan’s defense ministry says it is ‘preparing for conflict without seeking it’, France 24 mentionted.

The Chinese embassy and foreign ministry did not immediately respond to DCNF’s request for comment. The Pentagon declined to comment on the ongoing exercises.

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