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252 views • August 8, 2022

China Stages Fresh Military Drills Around Taiwan

NTD News
NTD News
The Chinese military announced fresh military drills in the seas and airspace around Taiwan on Monday, a day after the scheduled end of its largest ever exercises to protest against last week's visit to the island by U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Chinese Eastern Theatre Command said it would conduct joint drills focusing on anti-submarine and sea assault operations. Taiwan's foreign ministry condemned the move, saying the Chinese communist regime, which claims the self-ruled island as its own, was deliberately creating crises. It demanded the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) stop its military actions and "pull back from the edge." "In the face of military intimidation created by China, Taiwan will not be afraid nor back down, and will more firmly defend its sovereignty, national security, and free and democratic way of life," the ministry said in a statement. Pelosi's visit angered the CCP, which responded with test launches of ballistic missiles over Taipei for the first time, as well as ditching some lines of dialogue with Washington. The duration and precise location of the latest drills is not yet known, but Taiwan has already eased flight restrictions near the six earlier Chinese exercise areas surrounding the island. Taiwan's defense ministry later said it had detected 39 Chinese air force planes and 13 navy ships in and around the Taiwan Strait on Monday. Twenty-one Chinese air force planes had entered Taiwan's air defense zone, including fighter jets that crossed the median line in the northern part of the Taiwan Strait, the ministry said. 'Deeply Touched' Shortly before the latest drills were announced, Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen met visiting St. Vincent and the Grenadines Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves, telling him she was moved by his determination to visit despite the Chinese regime's military pressure. "Prime Minister Gonsalves has expressed in recent days that the Chinese military drills would not prevent him from visiting friends in Taiwan. These statements have deeply touched us," Tsai said at a welcome ceremony for Gonsalves in Taipei. The Caribbean country is one of only around a dozen nations to have formal diplomatic ties with Taiwan and not China. It was unclear if Tsai had invited Gonsalves before or after Pelosi's visit. "We don’t disclose internal planning or communications between governments," the Taiwanese foreign ministry said when asked by Reuters. Beyond the firing of 11 short-range ballistic missiles during the four earlier days of exercises, Chinese warships, fighter jets and drones maneuvered extensively around the island. A Chinese state television commentator said late on Sunday that the Chinese military would now conduct "regular" drills on the Taiwan side of the line. Military Talks Shelved In Taipei, defense ministry spokesman Sun Li-fang told reporters that Taiwan’s armed forces had "calmly" handled the Chinese drills. Earlier, the ministry had said the drills had used warships, aircraft, and drones to simulate attacks on the island and its navy. China's designated no-fly zones, and crossings of the median line, have "compressed" Taiwan’s training space and will affect the normal operation of international flights and air routes in the future, the ministry said in a statement. Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said on Monday that China was conducting normal military exercises "in our own waters" in an open, transparent, and professional way, adding that Taiwan was part of China. When asked whether the CCP's ongoing drills abided by international law and whether new warnings for civilian air and sea traffic would be issued, Wang said relevant departments issued timely announcements in line with both domestic and international law. The Chinese defense ministry meanwhile maintained its diplomatic pressure on the United States, defending its shelving of military-to-military talks in protest at Pelosi's visit. "The bottom line cannot be broken, and communication requires sincerity," Wu said. The Chinese regime called off formal talks involving theatre-l
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