‘External interference and provocations’ led China to test joint operations capabilities, says military official.
ANKARA (AA) – China launched an extensive air and sea military exercise near Taiwan on Tuesday in response to “external interference and provocations” by the independence forces of Taiwan.
Col. Shi Yi from the Eastern Theatre Command in the Chinese military said in a statement that the drill was staged to test the joint operations capabilities of its forces.
“Recently, the United States and Taiwan have repeatedly provoked and sent serious wrong signals, severely infringed upon China’s sovereignty and severely undermined the peace and stability of the Taiwan Strait,” said Shi.
He said such actions are currently the biggest source of security risks in the region.
“This exercise is a necessary action based on the current security situation across the Taiwan Strait and the need to safeguard national sovereignty,” he said.
Noting that the Eastern Theatre will continue combat readiness training, Shi added that his command will maintain its determination and capability to defeat Taiwan independence’s “separatist activities” and “resolutely defend national sovereignty and territorial integrity.”
Beijing claims the island nation of Taiwan is a “breakaway province,” while Taipei insists it has been independent since 1949 and has established independent diplomatic relations with at least 16 nations.
Since taking office in January, US President Joe Biden has sent high-level delegations to Taipei for discussions focused on economic and defense relations.