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Washington has condemned China’s ongoing large-scale military exercises around Taiwan, which included firing five missiles Thursday that landed in Japan’s exclusive economic zone for the first time, as “irresponsible” and a “significant escalation” of tensions.

The White House lambasted Beijing, saying it is using U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s recent trip as a “pretext to increase provocative military activity” in and around the self-ruled island.

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