China says it has ‘accomplished various tasks’ around Taiwan

The Chinese military has « completed various tasks » around Taiwan but will carry out regular patrols, it said on Wednesday, potentially signaling the end of the war game days but also that Beijing will maintain pressure on the island.

Furious during a visit to Taipei last week by US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi, China extended its largest-ever drills around the self-governing island it claims as its own beyond the four days initially planned.

Exercises last week included ballistic missile launches, some of which flew over the island’s capital, Taipei, and mock sea and air attacks in the surrounding skies and waters.

In a brief statement, the People’s Liberation Army Eastern Theater Command said its joint military operations around Taiwan had « successfully carried out various tasks and effectively tested the troops’ integrated combat capabilities. »

He continued, « Theater forces will keep an eye on developments in the Taiwan Strait, continue to conduct combat training and preparations, conduct regular combat readiness patrols to the Taiwan Strait and will resolutely defend national sovereignty. and territorial integrity. »

There was no immediate reaction from Taiwan on a possible end to increased military activity, but Taiwan’s Defense Ministry said a total of 17 Chinese fighter jets flew over the center line of the Taiwan Strait.

WATCH | Uncertainty surrounds the duration and scope of Chinese military exercises:

China announces new military drills off Taiwan

China said it was extending military drills around Taiwan, a day after live-fire activities ended.

Video from state broadcaster CCTV on Wednesday showed Chinese fighter jets rushing and refueling in the air, as well as navy ships during what it said were drills around Taiwan.

The Chinese military said the drills focused on blockades and resupply logistics, « in a complex electromagnetic environment to hone joint containment and control capabilities », according to CCTV.

Opposition politician slammed for mainland trip

Andrew Hsia, vice chairman of Taiwan’s main opposition party, the Kuomintang, flew to China on what his party said was a pre-arranged trip to meet with business-minded Taiwanese.

Hsia told reporters he was not going to Beijing and no official meeting had been arranged.

A man speaks in front of several microphones.
Andrew Hsia is shown in a 2016 file photo. The Taiwanese government expressed regret over the timing of the opposition figure’s trip to mainland China. (Sam Yeh/AFP/Getty Images)

However, Taiwan expressed « regret » for the trip amid Chinese drills.

« Right now, the Kuomintang still insisted on going to China, disappointing our people, » President Tsai Ing-wen said.

Taiwan’s foreign minister said on Tuesday that China was using military exercises as a game plan to prepare for an invasion of the democratically-ruled island.

Pelosi, a longtime China critic and political ally of President Joe Biden, traveled to Taiwan last week during the highest-level visit by a US official to the island in decades, despite warnings Chinese.

She said her visit showed the United States’ unwavering commitment to supporting Taiwanese democracy.

China says its relations with Taiwan are an internal matter and reserves the right to bring the island under its control, by force if necessary. Taiwan rejects China’s claims, saying only islanders can decide their future.

Washington stood by its assessment that China would not try to invade Taiwan for the next two years, a Pentagon official said Monday.

Taiwan’s Defense Ministry released a video of its armed forces drills on Wednesday, saying its military was ‘ready to keep our country safe’ and that China had not stopped its ‘incursions’ into Taiwan. proximity.

Taiwanese troops were guarding their posts « 24 hours a day, 7 days a week » and increased their level of vigilance, the ministry said, following the guidelines of « defending the median line, defending territorial waters and defending sovereignty ». to maintain the status quo.


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