China Concludes Major Military Drills Around Taiwan: "Siege" of The Island is Over

China has completed extensive military exercises around Taiwan, signaling its strong opposition to the recent statements by Taiwan's new president, Lai Ching-te, which Beijing perceives as separatist

by Sededin Dedovic
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China Concludes Major Military Drills Around Taiwan: "Siege" of The Island is Over
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China has announced the end of large military exercises that it had been conducting around Taiwan since Thursday, reports AFP. With these exercises, China intended to demonstrate its opposition to what it considers the separatist statements of Taiwan's new president, Lai Ching-te.

The Chinese military has "successfully completed" the "Joint Sword 2024A" exercises aimed at Taiwan, Chinese state television CCTV-7, which reports on military affairs, announced last night. The military announced on Thursday that it had begun two-day maneuvers.

They were designed to simulate a blockade of Taiwan and included land, naval, and air forces, as well as units responsible for strategic missiles. The exercises were mainly conducted in the Taiwan Strait, to the north, south, and east of the territory.

In Taiwan, presidential spokesperson Karen Kuo today condemned the military exercises, which she believes cause "serious concern" and represent a "flagrant provocation against the international order." China considers Taiwan one of its provinces that it has yet to reunify with its territory since the end of the Chinese Civil War and the rise to power of the communists in 1949.

Beijing calls for a "peaceful" reunification with the territory of 23 million inhabitants, where a democratic system prevails, but does not rule out the use of force if the island moves towards independence. China was angered by the inaugural speech of the new president, Lai Ching-te, on Monday.

The Taiwanese president stated that "the Republic of China (Taiwan) and the People's Republic of China (mainland China where the communists are in power) are not subordinate to each other," statements that Beijing considers separatist.

"The leader of the Taiwan region has seriously questioned the One China principle, which pushes our compatriots from Taiwan into a dangerous situation of war and peril," a Chinese Ministry of Defense spokesperson said yesterday, adding that "playing with fire will certainly lead to self-destruction." With the widely publicized military exercises, China aims not only to show its displeasure with Taipei but also to deter other countries from cooperating with the island, further isolating it, an analyst said.

According to him, Beijing is clearly targeting Washington. The U.S. did sever diplomatic ties with Taiwan in the late 1970s, but remains the island's main arms supplier. China regularly condemns exchanges, including military ones, between Americans and Taiwanese authorities, which it says are intended solely to slow China's development.

The Chinese military will continue to resolutely fight against the arrogance of Taiwan independence supporters and will decisively destroy secessionist plans, said Li Si, spokesperson for the military in the eastern operations zone, last night.

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