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China begins military drills around Taiwan after US Speaker visits


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China says it has begun three days of military exercises around Taiwan, in an announcement that comes after the island’s democratic president met with the US House Speaker against Beijing’s repeated threats.

China’s eastern military theater command announced the drills on Saturday, describing them as “a serious warning against Taiwan’s separatist forces colluding with foreign forces, and a necessary move to defend the government and national territorial integrity.”

The exercises, called “Unified Battle,” will feature “combat-ready stations and exercises in and around the Taiwan Strait, and to the north, south and east of Taiwan and by sea and air as planned,” said Senior Colonel Shi Yi of the People’s Liberation Army’s Eastern Theater Command. in a statement on Saturday.

The drills focus on “capturing the country’s sea, air and information capabilities under the support of our common combat system,” the PLA said.

Shortly after it was announced by China, Taiwan’s defense ministry said it had detected a total of 42 Chinese warships over the Taiwan Strait, which separates the island from the Chinese mainland. He said 29 Chinese warplanes had crossed the median line in the Strait in its air defense identification zone. He added that eight PLA vessels were spotted on the beach.

The drills come days after Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen returned from a 10-day visit to Central America and the United States, where she met with US House Speaker Kevin McCarthy.

Beijing had repeatedly warned against the move and had previously threatened to take “strong and firm measures” if it went ahead. China claims the democratic Taiwan as part of its territory, although it has never ruled it, and has been trying to isolate it diplomatically for decades. He reduced the power of the use of the island to his control.

Raids by Chinese fighters into Taiwan’s air defense identification zone, a self-declared buffer zone beyond its territorial airspace, occur on an almost daily basis.

The highest number of Chinese daily flights entering Taiwan’s ADIZ in one day, 56 warplanes, was back in October 2021.

Taiwan’s defense ministry said on Saturday that it was in a critical situation and was working hard to defend national security and the government.

“The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) is deliberately creating tensions in the Taiwan Strait. In addition to damaging peace and stability, it also negatively affects regional security and development,” the ministry said.

The ministry had said earlier on Saturday that it would respond to the drills in a calm, rational and serious manner, and would not seek to escalate the conflict.

China behaved in a similar manner when then US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited Taiwan in August, launching a series of military drills that surrounded the island and fired missiles at it.

Those drills were the first time China had fired missiles at the island, and many experts saw them as representing a major escalation of China’s military threats against Taiwan.

Some of those missiles also fell into Japan’s Exclusive Economic Zone near the Japanese islands north of Taiwan, a move that increased tensions between Beijing and Tokyo.

The President of Taiwan Tsai Ing-wen waves at a hotel in New York, on Thursday before flying to Central America on March 30, 2023.

The August exercises also involved dozens of Chinese warships crossing Taiwan’s air defense identity and PLA Navy longships maneuvering in the waters around Taiwan.

Beijing said at the time that it was pretending to be an air and sea “siege” of the island, but offered little solid evidence to back up the claim.

Officials in Taiwan reportedly expected a less severe reaction when McCarthy was told that Tsai’s meeting with McCarthy took place on US soil.

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Ava Grey

Hi there! I'm Ava Grey, an enthusiastic article writer with a passion for the arts, fashion, and staying informed about current events. As a journalism student at the New York Academy of Art, I'm driven to use my writing to create positive change and spark meaningful conversations. I'm particularly interested in contemporary art and sustainable fashion, and I love exploring how people use these mediums to express themselves and communicate their values. I believe that staying informed and hearing different perspectives is essential for personal growth and learning, and I'm always eager to engage in lively debates and discussions.

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