China launches military drills as warning after Taiwan official appears in US

China Launches Military Drills As Warning After Taiwan Official Appears In Us
Chinese warship, © CCTV
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By AP Reporters

The Chinese military has launched drills around Taiwan as a “stern warning” over what it called collusion between “separatists and foreign forces”, days after the island’s vice president stopped over in the United States.

William Lai’s recent trip to Paraguay to reinforce relations with his government’s last diplomatic partner in South America included stops in San Francisco and New York City.


The mainland’s ruling Communist Party claims democratic Taiwan as part of its territory and says it has no right to conduct foreign relations.

A spokesperson for China’s Eastern Theatre Command said the military exercises involved the coordination of vessels and planes and their ability to seize control of air and sea spaces.

William Lai
Taiwan’s vice president William Lai stopped over in New York City as part of his trip to Paraguay (AP)


It was also testing the forces’ “actual combat capabilities”, Shi Yi said. The drills were a warning over provocations from pro-Taiwan independence forces and foreign forces, he added.

The command released footage of the drills online that showed soldiers, military boats and planes.

State media CCTV reported that missile-equipped boats and fighter jets were involved in the operation and that units worked together to simulate the surrounding of Taiwan.

Taiwan’s defence ministry said on the social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter, that its forces detected 42 Chinese military aircraft starting from 9am on Saturday (2am BST).


Officials said 26 of the aircraft crossed the midline of the Taiwan Strait, an unofficial boundary considered a buffer between the island and the mainland. Eight vessels also took part in the joint combat patrol.

Chinese fighter
A fighter jet takes off from China for drills near Taiwan (CCTV via AP)

Taiwan deployed aircraft and vessels and activated land-based missile systems in response to the drills and is closely monitoring the situation, the ministry said.


The ministry also strongly condemned what it called the “irrational, provocative moves” in a separate statement.

It said its military would stand ready in the face of the threats posted by the Chinese army, adding that its forces have “the ability, determination and confidence to safeguard national security”.

It posted a video on Facebook that showed previous military drills and said the Chinese military exercises reflected a militaristic mentality.

Taiwan and China split in 1949 following a civil war that ended with the ruling Communist Party in control of the mainland. The self-ruled island has never been part of the People’s Republic of China, but Beijing sees Taiwan as a breakaway province to be retaken by force if necessary.


Taiwan military
China said the manoeuvres are a ‘stern warning’ over what it calls collusion between ‘separatists and foreign forces’ (CCTV via AP)

China’s official Xinhua news agency reported that an unnamed official in China’s Taiwan Work Office strongly condemned what it called further collusion between Taiwan’s ruling Democratic Progressive Party and the US, and said it was a “new provocative move”.

Mr Lai is his party’s candidate for the 2024 presidential election in January.

China’s largest military drills in recent years were in response to former US house speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan last August.

It fired missiles over the island in a significant escalation and the military exercises disrupted trade lanes in the Taiwan Strait and forced planes to reroute their flights.

In April, Chinese forces held large-scale combat readiness drills in the air and waters around Taiwan in response to President Tsai Ing-wen’s meeting with current US house speaker Kevin McCarthy.

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