In response to Taiwan’s Vice President William Lai’s recent visit to the United States, which Beijing considers its rival, China initiated a series of military drills near Taiwan, demonstrating its displeasure with the island’s separatist actions.
Termed a “stern warning” to separatist forces on the island, the military exercises were conducted to signal China’s claim over Taiwan as its own territory.
The Eastern Theatre Command of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA), responsible for Taiwan, issued a concise statement on Saturday morning, announcing joint naval and air combat readiness patrols around the island.
China has not ruled out employing force to assert control over Taiwan, a democratic and autonomous entity. Over the past years, Beijing has intensified military exercises in the vicinity of Taiwan due to what it perceives as “collusion” between Taipei and Washington.
The spokesperson for the Eastern Theatre Command emphasized that these drills and patrols were intended as a robust response to the perceived provocations and foreign collaboration of “Taiwan independence separatists.”
These exercises involve joint naval and air force maneuvers aimed at testing actual combat capabilities and enhancing coordination between ships and aircraft to simulate the seizure of air and sea spaces, as reported by Al Jazeera.
Taiwanese officials and analysts believe that China’s recent military actions were triggered by Vice President William Lai’s US visit. China’s foreign ministry released a statement condemning any form of visit by “Taiwan independence separatists” to the US.
Taiwan’s defense ministry responded vigorously, denouncing China’s military drills near the island. The ministry affirmed its intention to deploy the necessary forces in retaliation and expressed confidence in maintaining national security.
A joint statement by US President Joe Biden, South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol, and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida condemned China’s “dangerous and aggressive” behavior in the South China Sea.
The leaders pledged to uphold regional security, enhance Indo-Pacific engagement, and promote shared prosperity.
China had previously conducted extensive military exercises near Taiwan in response to a visit by Nancy Pelosi, the former Speaker of the US House of Representatives, to Taipei.
These exercises spanned six days and featured activities such as test flights of the J-20 stealth fighter and conventional missile trials.