China conducts naval, air exercises near Taiwan
The Chinese Foreign Minister says Beijing "strongly deterred anti-China elements" in the US and Taiwan with military drills.
The Eastern Theater Command of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) conducted on Sunday joint combat-readiness security patrols and exercises in the waters and airspace around Taiwan.
In a statement, Senior Colonel Shi Yi, spokesperson of the Theater Command, pointed out that the drills are a firm response to the escalation of collusion between the US and Taiwan.
Shi stressed that the Eastern Theater Command will take all necessary measures to defend national sovereignty and territorial integrity.
Earlier, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi slammed US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s provocative Taiwan visit in August as intimidation by a hegemonic power, pointing out that Beijing "strongly deterred anti-China elements" in the US and Taiwan with military drills.
"Playing up competition does all harm and no good, and seeking cooperation is a necessity – not a choice," Wang noted.
The Chinese Minister said China has taken resolute and decisive measures, fully demonstrating its unwavering will to protect national sovereignty and security.
The Taiwanese Defense Ministry earlier announced that the Taiwan armed forces detected 39 aircraft and three ships belonging to the Chinese army as they approached the island.
At the beginning of this month, China expressed its strong dissatisfaction and protest against the US State Department's decision to approve the possible sale of spare parts and equipment for military aircraft worth millions of dollars to Taiwan, stressing that it will take effective measures to protect its sovereignty and security interests.
Chinese navy carrier group simulates attacks on Taiwan, Japan's Okinawa
In a related context, the Japanese newspaper Yomiuri Shimbun reported, citing Chinese government sources, that a Chinese carrier strike group has been conducting military drills since December 16 in the Western Pacific that simulate attacks on Taiwan and Japan’s Okinawa prefecture.
According to the sources, the Chinese strike group, led by the aircraft carrier Liaoning, is operating several hundred miles southwest of Japan’s Kitadaitou Island.
The Chinese ships passed into the Western Pacific Ocean through the Miyako Strait on December 15 and started their drills the next day after Japan announced a major military spending boost, claimed American Military News.
The Chinese sources explained that the exercises simulated missile launches from type 055 missile destroyers targeting the Ryukyu Island chain and military assets in Okinawa, where Japan’s new National Security Strategy calls for new missile systems to be deployed.
The American Military News claimed that the Liaoning carrier group conducted exercises in parallel with joint China-Russia naval exercises off the coast of Zhoushan, Zhejiang, which began on December 21 in response to the aggressive US military build-up in the region.
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