China has announced that it is conducting military exercises near the Taiwan strait. The most senior official from the United States’ State Department visits Taiwan.
According to the international news agency, the live-fire drills come as tensions between Beijing and Washington increases, the US moves to show its support for Taiwan.
China’s defence ministry spokesperson Ren Guoqiang has blamed the US and Taiwan for “stepping up collusion, frequently causing disturbances”.
He informed the reporters that “using Taiwan to control China” or trying to “rely on foreigners to build oneself up” was wishful thinking. “Those who play with fire will get burnt,” he said.
However, he did not mention details about the military exercises that involved the People’s Liberation Army’s eastern theatre command. But he called it “legitimate and necessary for the mainland to protect its sovereignty and integrity”.
The move comes amid two days of large-scale Chinese drills off Taiwan’s southwestern coast that held last week.
Sources from Washington said that the US undersecretary of economic affairs Mr. Krach was visiting Taiwan to attend a memorial service for late president Lee Teng-hui on Saturday.
The visit comes after increased unrest between the US and China.
The US is expected to block key exports from China’s Xinjiang region due to allegations that they are produced using forced labor.
According to the international news agency, bans have been imposed on key exports of products including cotton and tomato, which are two of the major commodity exports in China.
China has recently increased security in Xinjiang, citing a threat of separatism and terrorism.
According to the international news agency BBC, The US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is currently preparing Withhold Release
Orders which allows it to detain shipments based on suspicions of forced labor involvement.