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China says it carried out more military drills around Taiwan

China says it carried out more military drills around Taiwan

China's military recently conducted a series of exercises around Taiwan with land and sea strikes, demonstrating their increasing focus on the self-ruled island as tensions rise. These were not only the second drills in less than a month but also signalled an unprecedented show of force from China towards this important region. 

The People's Liberation Army recently showed their strength with a powerful display of military prowess in the airspace and waters around Taiwan. Joint combat readiness patrols and intensive drills demonstrated China’s growing presence near this hotly contested region as they relentlessly move closer to reclaiming it for themselves. 

China conducted joint exercises this week to display its capability of decisively counteracting any external forces attempting provocative actions or advocating Taiwan independence. Spokesperson Senior Colonel Shi Yi declared that these drills should effectively send a message against such activities. 

Taiwan's presidential office firmly asserted that peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait were a shared responsibility between both countries, rebuking unfounded accusations from China. Furthermore, they strongly disapproved of provocative military drills conducted by Beijing near its borders. 

Taiwan’s position is very clear, in that it will neither escalate conflicts nor provoke disputes, but will firmly defend its sovereignty and security, the office said in a statement.

“The nation’s military has a close grasp of the situation in the Taiwan Strait and the surrounding area and responds calmly. Our people can rest assured,” it added.

Taiwan's defence ministry reported an alarming surge in Chinese military activity near the island on Monday, revealing a staggering 57 aircraft and 4 vessels entering their airspace over the past day. They provided visuals that demonstrated exactly how close these forces got to Taiwan’s borders - highlighting mounting tensions between China and its neighbour. 

Twenty-eight Chinese military aircraft soared into Taiwan's airspace, some even crossing the unofficial boundary line of the Taiwan Strait. Two particularly menacing H-6 bombers ventured further south for all to see - a clear provocation by Beijing against Taipei. 

In response to US support for Taiwan, China recently conducted military exercises in the region. This coincided with Taipei's announcement of a mandatory service increase from four months to one year beginning in 2024. Tensions between these two countries remain high as their differences deepen. 

Since 2016, China has taken an increasingly assertive stance in the waters and skies around Taiwan with the election of President Tsai Ing-wen. This reached a boiling point when US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi paid an official visit to the island nation last August, prompting Beijing to consider more forceful measures than ever before as they fight for control over this strategic region. 

Taiwan’s government says only Taiwanese people can decide the island’s future and has pledged to defend itself if attacked by China.

Beijing’s latest manoeuvres come as members of parliament from Germany arrived on Monday ahead of an anticipated ministerial visit later this year.  

The visit was a “sign of solidarity” with the self-ruled democracy, Marie-Agnes Strack-Zimmermann, chair of the parliamentary defence committee and a leader of the high-ranking delegation, told the AFP news agency.

The deputies from the pro-business Free Democratic Party (FDP) — a junior partner in Germany’s coalition government — would meet “senior figures from politics, civil society and the military,” Strack-Zimmermann said, and discuss the current “threat situation” 

The Chinese military sent 1,727 planes into Taiwan’s ADIZ in 2022, according to data from the Taiwan government. That compares with about 960 incursions in 2021 and 380 in 2020.

The US has no formal diplomatic ties with Taiwan but is bound by law to provide the island with the means to defend itself.