Kinmen Island, a Taiwanese-controlled island a little over six miles off China’s coast, reported that on Wednesday night, flying objects of unclear origin — probably drones — flew overhead. Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense said that its website was paralyzed by “denial of service” cyberattacks late on Wednesday night.
China is trying to reinforce its influence over Taiwan by upgrading deterrence after the visit by Ms. Pelosi, who praised the island’s people for standing strong against Beijing, several Chinese analysts said.
“The tendency of external forces exploiting Taiwan to contain China has become increasingly clear,” Wu Yongping, a professor at Tsinghua University in Beijing who studies Taiwan, said in written answers to questions. “The Chinese government has adopted some unprecedented military operations in response to this.”
One of the People’s Liberation Army’s designated exercise zones lies off the eastern coast of Taiwan, at the farthest point from the Chinese mainland. When China held intimidating military exercises off Taiwan during a geopolitical crisis 25 years ago, the People’s Liberation Army, or P.L.A., did not go that far.
“It’s an intentional message meant to highlight the P.L.A.’s heightened capacity to project power farther from the Chinese mainland, and it’s a visible signal that China can surround the island,” said Brian Hart, a fellow with the China Power Project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. “It will also complicate traffic to and around the island from all sides.”
Global Times, a swaggeringly nationalist Chinese newspaper, raised the possibility of missiles being fired from the mainland into that eastern zone, arcing over Taiwan. “If the Taiwan military responds, the Liberation Army is entirely able to trap the turtle in the jar,” one Chinese commentator, Zhang Xuefeng, told the paper, using a Chinese saying for catching prey with ease.