China announced new military drills around Taiwan on Monday, eliciting concern from U.S. President Joe Biden, a day after the scheduled end of Beijing's largest exercises to protest last week's visit to the island by U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, APA reports citing Reuters.
China's Eastern Theatre Command said it would conduct joint drills focusing on anti-submarine and sea assault operations - confirming the fears of some security analysts and diplomats that Beijing would keep pressure on Taiwan's defences.
Taiwan's foreign ministry condemned the move, saying China, which claims the self-governed island as its own, was deliberately creating crises. It demanded Beijing stop its military actions and "pull back from the edge".
"In the face of military intimidation created by China, Taiwan will not be afraid nor back down, and will more firmly defend its sovereignty, national security, and free and democratic way of life," the ministry said in a statement.
Biden, in his first public comments on the issue since Pelosi's visit, said he was not worried about Taiwan but was concerned about China's actions in the region.
"I'm concerned they are moving as much as they are," Biden told reporters in Delaware. "But I don't think they're going to do anything more than they are."
White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre later condemned China's drills.
"We've been condemning them since they started escalating," Jean-Pierre said. "They are provocative, irresponsible and raise the risk of miscalculation. And that's what he - the president - was referring to."