China holds an assault drills near Taiwan

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On Tuesday, China sent warships and fighter jets near self-ruled Taiwan in what it described as “attack drills” in response to purported provocations by Taiwanese separatists backed by the US.

The eastern theatre command (ETC) of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) stated it despatched anti-submarine aircraft, planes, and battleships near Taiwan’s southwest and southeast sea and airspace to test the soldiers integrated joint operation capabilities.

China asserts self-government in Taiwan and does not rule out forceful reunification of the island. It opposes any official relationships between Taipei and other nations, claiming that such ties undermine the principle of “one China.”

Beijing believes Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen is pursuing a separatist goal of formally declaring independence with US help.

Beijing retaliated against Washington earlier this month after selling 40 medium self-propelled howitzer artillery systems to Taiwan for $750 million.

Given the current scenario, Beijing will take lawful and necessary counter-measures, according to the Chinese foreign ministry.

The PLA’s ETA stated in a statement on Tuesday that the deployment included “joint fire assault and other manoeuvres involving actual troops.”

“Recently, the United States and Taiwan have repeatedly provoked and sent serious wrong signals, severely infringing on China’s sovereignty and severely undermining the peace and stability of the Taiwan Strait.

This has become the most significant source of security risks across the Taiwan Strait,” said command spokesperson Shi Yi.

“Based on the current security situation across the Taiwan Strait and the necessity to preserve national sovereignty,” he continued, “this drill is a required action.”

Different Sources Statements

According to Reuters, Taiwan’s defence ministry issued a brief statement.

It states, “The nation’s military has a full understanding and has made a full assessment of the situation in the Taiwan Strait region, as well as related developments at sea and in the air, and is prepared for various responses.”

The drills on Tuesday came just days after the ETC conducted combat training in the Taiwan Straits and neighbouring waterways to test and improve its inter-service joint operation capacity.

The exercises in the straits, including their northern and southern ends, involved units from different services, according to senior colonel Zhang Chunhui, the command’s spokeswoman, in a statement released last week.

According to China Daily, they were “a necessary step in response to the Taiwan Straits’ current security situation and aimed to preserve national sovereignty,” China Daily.

The statement avoided using a common term for such operations: “a routine exercise included in the PLA’s annual training schedule.”

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