China’s latest exercise around Taiwan is its second major military exercise in less than a month.
China’s military says it has conducted drills around the self-ruled island of Taiwan, focusing on land and sea attacks, the second such exercise in less than a year. month.
The People’s Liberation Army’s Eastern Theater Command said in a statement late Sunday that its forces held “joint combat readiness patrols and real combat drills.” economic” in the waters and airspace around Taiwan, which Beijing claims as its own.
The purpose of the exercise is to test joint combat capabilities and “resolutely resist provocative actions by external forces and independent Taiwan separatist forces,” said Colonel Shi Yi, spokesman. of the command, said in a brief statement.
Taiwan’s presidential office said China was making “baseless accusations” and strongly condemned the exercise, saying peace and stability of the Taiwan Strait and the region were the joint responsibility of Taiwan. both Taiwan and China.
Taiwan’s position is very clear that it will not escalate conflicts or provoke disputes, but will resolutely defend its sovereignty and security, the office said in a statement.
“The national army has kept a close eye on the situation in the Taiwan Strait and the surrounding area and reacted calmly. Our people can rest assured,” it added.
Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense said on Monday it had detected 57 Chinese military aircraft and four Chinese naval ships operating around the island in the previous 24 hours, sharing maps on Twitter to show their flight paths.
About 28 aircraft flew into the air defense identification zone (ADIZ) off the southwest coast of Taiwan, with some flying over the median line of the Taiwan Strait, an informal buffer zone between the two. Two nuclear-capable H-6 bombers flew to southern Taiwan, the ministry’s map showed.
China carried out similar exercises late last month after the US passed a defense spending bill that included support for Taiwan, Taipei reported that 43 Chinese planes crossed the median line. That same week, Taipei announced it would extension of compulsory military service from the current four months to a year starting in 2024.
China, which has not ruled out using force to control the island, has stepped up military activities in the waters and airspace near Taiwan since Tsai Ing-wen was first elected president. in 2016. But tensions rose dramatically last August after the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi visited the island.
Taiwan’s government says only the people of Taiwan can decide the future of the island and pledged to defend itself if attacked by China.
Beijing’s latest move comes as members of parliament from Germany arrive on Monday ahead of a ministerial visit scheduled for later this year.
Marie-Agnes Strack-Zimmermann, chair of the parliament’s defense committee and chief of the high-level delegation, told AFP news agency the visit was a “sign of solidarity” with the autonomous democracy.
Delegates from the pro-business Free Democratic Party (FDP) – a minor partner in Germany’s coalition government – will meet “senior figures from politics, civil society and the military,” Strack-Zimmermann said, and discussed the current “threatening situation”. .
The Chinese military sent 1,727 aircraft into Taiwan’s ADIZ by 2022, according to data from the Taiwanese government. This compares to about 960 intrusions in 2021 and 380 in 2020.
The United States has no formal diplomatic relations with Taiwan but is bound by law to provide the island with the means to defend itself.