Latest: China says objectives of drills circling Taiwan accomplished
NBS Webdesk

China’s military has announced the accomplishment of “expected goals” during a two-day military drill circling Taiwan.

The Chinese defense ministry also said on Thursday if it is further provoked by Taipei, it will hold more  exercises.

The ministry said it had ordered the drills last week following the provocative inauguration speech by President Lai Ching-te, the island’s newly-inaugurated “separatist” leader.

“We have reached our expected goals,” ministry spokesperson Wu Qian said at a press briefing in Beijing, telling reporters the joint drills by the People’s Liberation Army were “a measure to contain aggressive Taiwanese independence and separatist activities and a warning against foreign interference.”

READ MORE: Beijing launches surprise ‘punishment’ drills encircling Chinese Taipei

Wu said Lai’s inaugural speech amounted to calls for independence, “pushing our compatriots in Taiwan into a perilous situation of war and danger”.

“We are confident that despite turbulence and changes in outside situation, we will deal with everything with ease,” Wu added, vowing “stronger countermeasures” by the military against any further moves by the “separatist forces”.

In recent years, Beijing has increased the pressure on Taiwan, maintaining a near-daily presence of warplanes, drones and naval vessels around the island.

Experts say these are “grey zone tactics”, which stop short of outright acts of war but serve to exhaust Taipei’s military.

The Chinese defense ministry’s fresh warning on Thursday of more military drills to follow came just hours after a Taipei official claimed Beijing was trying to “nibble away” at the island’s territorial space.

China views Chinese Taipei as an inseparable part of the country, regarding the whole of Taiwan as its sovereign territory.

Beijing considers Chinese Taipei as one of mainland China’s provinces with no right to establish diplomatic relations with other states. China’s globally-accepted “one China” principle, which the United States has accepted, keeps Chinese Taipei out of most international bodies.

Taiwan’s defense ministry said Thursday it detected 38 Chinese warplanes and 11 navy or coastguard vessels around Taiwan in the past 24 hours. It said 28 of the Chinese aircraft had crossed the median line, referring to a line bisecting the Taiwan Strait that separates the island from China.

On Wednesday, China’s Taiwan Affairs Office lashed out at Lai once more for being a dangerous supporter of an independent Taiwan, criticizing his meeting in the presidential office earlier this week with a visiting senior US politician leading a congressional delegation to Taipei.

The US lawmaker had accused China of holding “intimidating” war games last week, underscoring Taipei’s need to boost its weapons and ammo arsenal.

Michael McCaul, the Republican chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, described the US as a reliable source for arms and munitions for Taiwanese forces to fight Chinese troops.

The US delegation is the first group of American lawmakers to visit Taipei after Lai took office on Sunday

In his meeting with McCaul, Lai said he would “enhance national defense capabilities, and show the world the determination of the Taiwanese people to defend their homeland.”

China, for its part, called on the US officials to stop breaching the “one-China” principle.

Source: Presstv

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