Asia - Pacific

Military drills around Taiwan warning over US-Taipei 'collusion': China

Latest drills come after US president said Washington will intervene militarily if Beijing uses force against Taiwan

Riyaz ul Khaliq   | 25.05.2022
Military drills around Taiwan warning over US-Taipei 'collusion': China File Photo


China on Wednesday said its joint military exercises around Taiwan were intended as a “stern warning” against “collusion activities” between the US and Taipei.

“The Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) recently organized joint combat-readiness patrols and real combat training exercises involving multiple services and arms in the waters and airspace around the Taiwan Island,” military spokesperson Col. Shi Yi said in a statement.

“This is a stern warning against the recent US-Taiwan collusion activities,” said Shi.

The latest Chinese military drills come after US President Joe Biden considerably upped the ante over Taiwan during his first presidential trip to Asia.

In Tokyo on Monday, Biden said the US will intervene militarily if China attempted to take over Taiwan by force, angering Beijing, which considers the island of over 24 million people a “breakaway province.”

Taipei, however, has insisted on its independence since 1949 and has diplomatic relations with at least 14 nations.

Biden later said Washington’s stance on Taiwan had not changed and it would not abandon the “One-China” policy.

Shi asserted it was “hypocritical and futile for the US to say one thing and do another on the Taiwan issue,” saying its actions “frequently encourage ‘Taiwan independence’ forces.”

“Taiwan is part of China … (our) troops are determined and capable of thwarting any external forces’ interference and separatist attempts … and resolutely safeguard national sovereignty and security and regional peace and stability,” the spokesperson added.

China also carried out joint drills with Russia on Tuesday, sending six jets over the Sea of Japan and East China Sea as leaders of the Quad group – the US, India, Australia and Japan – were meeting in Tokyo.

Japan condemned the “show of force” and expressed its “grave concerns” to Beijing and Moscow.

“We cannot overlook actions that heighten tensions in East Asia when Russia has already increased tensions in Ukraine,” Hirokazu Matsuno, Japan’s top government spokesperson, said on Wednesday.

China, though, rebuffed Tokyo’s complaints, saying it was a “routine joint strategic air patrol.”

“This operation does not target any third party, and has nothing to do with the current international and regional situation,” said Sr. Col. Wu Qian, spokesperson for the Chinese Defense Ministry. ​​​​​​​

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