Pelosi departs Taiwan as furious China holds military drills

US Speaker Nancy Pelosi has left Taiwan after a brief but controversial visit.

Ms Pelosi - the most senior US politician to visit in 25 years - departed on Wednesday after meeting leaders in the capital Taipei.

But her visit, as part of a wider Asian tour, sparked fury in Beijing after she ignored its warnings not to travel to the island.

Taiwan is self-ruled - but China sees it as a breakaway province that will eventually unite with it.

In a statement issued on Wednesday, China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi said "those who play with fire will not come to a good end, and those who offend China will be punished".

"The United States is violating China's sovereignty under the guise of so-called democracy," he added.

In response to the trip, China announced what it called "necessary and just" military drills in seas around 16 kilometres from Taiwan.

The exercises - which will begin on Thursday and last for five days - will take place in some of the world's busiest waterways and will include "long-range live ammunition shooting".

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