China’s army drills round Taiwan threaten to upend international commerce

China's military drills around Taiwan threaten to upend global trade


On Thursday, China kicked off drills involving the navy, air force and other military forces in the seas and airspace surrounding Taiwan. The drills — unprecedented in number — are a direct show of force in response to US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to the self-governed island, which Beijing repeatedly warned against.
The Chinese Defense Ministry on Tuesday released a map of six zones around the island where it said it would conduct air and sea exercises as well as long-range live-fire exercises that will last until Sunday. Ships and aircraft have been warned to stay out of the areas during the drills.

Taiwan has said the military exercises are tantamount to a “maritime and aerial blockade” and have “violated Taiwan’s territorial waters and its contiguous zone.”

They also threaten to disrupt trade flows in one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes.

The Taiwan Strait, a 110-mile-wide artery separating the island of Taiwan and continental Asia, is a key trade route for…