China-US tensions: Beijing says it has conducted new military exercises around Taiwan

Continue to impress and threaten, this is undoubtedly the objective of the Chinese authorities. China announced on Monday that it has organized new military exercises around Taiwan, where five American parliamentarians are currently visiting.

“On August 15, the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Eastern Theater held a multi-service joint combat readiness patrol and combat drills in the sea and airspace around Taiwan,” the command said. of the Chinese Army’s Eastern Theater in a statement.

This time again, Beijing strongly criticized the visit of the parliamentarians. “US politicians should stop playing with fire on the Taiwan issue,” commented the official Xinhua news agency. The new maneuvers constitute “a solemn deterrent against the United States and Taiwan which continue to play political tricks and undermine peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait”, said Shi Yi, spokesperson for the Theater Command. of the Chinese army, in a press release, promising to “resolutely defend national sovereignty”.

Beijing only ended its drills after it reiterated its threats to Taipei and said it would continue to patrol the Taiwan Strait. In its daily update, the Taiwanese Ministry of Defense said on Sunday that it had detected 22 planes and six Chinese ships operating near the strait. 11 of the planes crossed the middle line, an unofficial demarcation between Taiwan and China that Beijing does not recognize.

Beijing denounces an American provocation

The scale and intensity of China’s drills – coupled with its withdrawal from international climate and defense negotiations – have sparked outrage in the United States and other Western countries. But Beijing on Monday defended its behavior, calling it “firm, forceful and appropriate” in the face of US provocation.

VIDEO. Taiwan: Chinese military exercises to “punish independence forces”

“(We) are just issuing a warning to those responsible” for this crisis, Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said at a press briefing last week, promising that China would “break firmly the illusion of the Taiwanese authorities to obtain independence through the United States”.

China considers Taiwan, with a population of around 23 million, to be one of its provinces, which it has yet to successfully reunify with the rest of its territory since the end of the Chinese Civil War in 1949. Opposed to any initiative giving the Taiwanese authorities international legitimacy, Beijing is against any official contact between Taiwan and other countries.

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