China's PLA concludes largest-ever military drills around Taiwan
China's People's Liberation Army completes drills around Taiwan and says it will regularly organize combat readiness patrols in Taiwan Straits.
China announced Wednesday the conclusion of its military exercises around Taiwan, which began last week and were expected to end on Sunday, following US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's controversial visit to Taipei.
In a statement, the Eastern Theater Command of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) said that it had "successfully completed various missions during recent drills around Taiwan island and effectively tested the troops' joint operation combat capacity," according to the Global Times.
The Command mentioned that it will "regularly organize combat readiness patrols in Taiwan Straits."
China to take all necessary steps for Taiwan reunification
Earlier, Beijing released a new white book, which stressed that China reserves the right to take all necessary measures in response to the provocations by instigators of Taiwan’s separatism in the event of failure to reach peaceful reunification with the island, including the "last resort" of the use of force.
According to the white book, China will not tolerate any interference in the Taiwan issue as it is an internal affair that affects its interests and the national sentiments of the Chinese people, according to the white book.
The white book explained that the "Use of force would be the last resort taken under compelling circumstances. We will only be forced to take drastic measures to respond to the provocation of separatist elements or external forces should they ever cross our red lines."
Largest-ever military exercises
The PLA's largest-ever military exercises encircling Taiwan kicked off Thursday, August 4, after a visit to the island by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. The exercises are taking place in various zones encircling Taiwan, including some within 20 kilometers of the island's shore.
In the same context, Taiwan held an artillery drill Tuesday simulating defense against an attack, while its foreign minister accused Beijing of preparing to invade the island after large-scale Chinese drills.
Escalations following Pelosi's visit to Taiwan
The situation around Taiwan escalated following Pelosi's recent visit to Taipei. China considers Taiwan part of its territory and opposes any direct official foreign contacts with the island.
Pelosi's visit led China to announce ending cooperation with the United States on a number of issues such as climate change, anti-drug efforts, and military talks.
The Chinese foreign ministry had announced that Beijing will impose sanctions on Pelosi and her close relatives in response to her provocative visit to Taiwan.
In addition, China had imposed restrictions on the purchase of fruit and seafood from Taiwan, as well as stopping sand supplies to the island.
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi had stressed that China will leave no room for the pro-Taiwanese independence forces as the reunification of Taiwan with China is historically inevitable and all attempts to use Taiwan to contain China are doomed to failure.