China accuses US of stoking tensions in Taiwan Strait
Beijing urges US to 'stop smearing China, stop manipulating the Taiwan question'
China on Monday accused arch-rival US of stoking tensions in the Taiwan Strait and using Taiwan to contain Beijing.
"The US keeps picturing China as a military threat so that the US can find the pretext for further arming itself and sustaining military supremacy, and create the context for stoking tensions in the Taiwan Strait and using Taiwan to contain China," Wang Wenbin, China's Foreign Ministry spokesperson, told reporters in Beijing.
He was commenting on recent remarks of US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley, in which he accused Beijing of developing its military capabilities with a plan of unification with Taiwan by 2027.
China considers Taiwan its "break-away province."
"Some in the US with evil intentions misrepresent facts and have constantly hyped up the China military threat narrative. They are in fact creating excuses for their efforts of arms expansion, maintaining military hegemony, and sabotaging regional peace and stability," said Wang, according to a transcript of his news briefing released by the ministry.
"I want to point out that China has always pursued a national defense policy that is defensive in nature and stays committed to peaceful development. China’s military growth means a stronger force for world peace and is conducive to safeguarding peace and stability in the Asia Pacific and beyond," he added.
Realizing the "complete reunification of the motherland," he further said, is the "common aspiration" of the Chinese people and Beijing will "strive for the prospects of peaceful reunification with utmost sincerity and efforts."
"Meanwhile, we will never allow anyone and any force to separate Taiwan from our motherland," he maintained.
Wang urged the US to "stop smearing China, stop dangerously ramping up military build-up, stop manipulating the Taiwan question, abide by the one-China principle and the three China-US joint communiqués and safeguard regional peace and stability with concrete actions."
Beijing's reaction coincided with a round of live-force exercises by Taiwan's Army on Monday in southern Pingtung County to test "troops' capabilities in countering potential amphibious and sea attacks from China."
Tilted Tien Ma or Sky Horse exercise, the military drills were open to the media, Taiwan's official news agency Focus Taiwan news website reported.
During the Monday afternoon drill, soldiers fired TOW 2A anti-tank missiles at targets in the sea from a coastal drill area in Pingtung's Fangshan Township.
According to the Defense Ministry, aside from Taiwan's existing TOW 2A missiles, the country has also purchased more advanced TOW 2B anti-tank missiles from the United States.
Meanwhile, an American delegation of conservative Republican Congress members is currently in Taiwan on a five-day visit.
The delegation, during its visit, will meet with President Tsai Ing-wen in Taipei.
The visiting members of the Republican Study Committee (RSC) in the US House of Representatives are also scheduled to meet with Vice President Lai Ching-te, Foreign Minister Joseph Wu, and other senior government officials, Taiwan's Foreign Ministry said.