TAIPEI, Aug. 4 (CNA) The Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) fired multiple ballistic missiles into waters near Taiwan Thursday as part of military exercises that commenced near the island at noon, Taiwan's Ministry of National Defense (MND) has confirmed.

In a statement, the MND said multiple Dongfeng ballistic missiles launched by the PLA from 1:56 p.m. landed in waters near northeastern and southwestern parts of the island, without providing further details.

The Dongfeng series includes a range of short, medium, intermediate-range, and intercontinental ballistic missiles operated by the PLA.

The MND said it had "instant knowledge" of the PLA's missile launching activities thanks to surveillance and reconnaissance, and that it continued to strengthen its defense systems and combat readiness.

The MND also condemned the PLA for what it described as irrational acts that marred regional peace.

China announced via state media on Tuesday night that it would hold live-fire military exercises from Aug. 4-7 in six areas near Taiwan, parts of which encroach on Taiwan's territorial waters.

The announcement was seen as a response to the visit to Taiwan by U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi.