China announces fresh military drills around Taiwan

Updated on Aug 08, 2022 02:50 PM IST

The countermeasures China took in response to US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s Taiwan visit are justified and appropriate, a Chinese defence ministry spokesperson said on Monday.

In this photo released by Xinhua News Agency, fighter jets of the Eastern Theater Command of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) conduct a joint combat training exercises around the Taiwan Island on Sunday. (AP)
In this photo released by Xinhua News Agency, fighter jets of the Eastern Theater Command of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) conduct a joint combat training exercises around the Taiwan Island on Sunday. (AP)

China on Monday held joint combat training exercises around self-governed Taiwan, focusing on anti-submarine and sea assault operations, as Beijing continued to put pressure on the island in response to a visit by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi last week.

The eastern theatre command of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) said in a brief statement on China’s Twitter-like Weibo that it will practice conducting anti-submarine attacks and sea raids around the island, which Beijing claims as a breakaway province.

Also read | China's Xi tries to salvage Pelosi crisis with Taiwan drills: Analysis

China announced the new drills on Monday - a day after what was supposed to be the concluding day for four-day joint live-fire exercises around Taiwan, but did not specify how long the new round of drills would continue.

The announcement also comes after Beijing on Sunday announced additional military exercises around the Yellow Sea - located between China and the Korean Peninsula - and the Bohai Sea - off the northern Chinese coast, expanding drills across new maritime areas.

“The drill on the Bohai Sea will be held between August 8 and September 8, while another on the Yellow Sea will be conducted between August 7 and 15,” China’s Maritime Safety Administration (MSA) said in a statement on Sunday.

The Taiwan-focused exercise included the first firing of conventional missiles over the island of Taiwan. Hundreds of Chinese aircraft and warships also crossed the median line of the Taiwan Strait.

The PLA on Sunday carried out “island saturation attack drills”, deployed and “bomber deterrence flights” and dispatched multiple bomber formations to cross the Taiwan Strait in both directions simultaneously.

The countermeasures China took in response to Pelosi’s Taiwan visit are justified and appropriate, a Chinese defence ministry spokesperson said on Monday.

“The Chinese side’s countermeasures are necessary warnings to the US and Taiwan’s provocations and justified actions of safeguarding national sovereignty and security, and are reasonable and appropriate,” spokesperson Wu Qian told reporters, according to the official Xinhua news agency.

“The current tensions across the Taiwan Strait result solely from the provocations from the US side. Thus, the US side must take full responsibility and face the grave consequences,” Wu said.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Sutirtho Patranobis has been in Beijing since 2012, as Hindustan Times’ China correspondent. He was previously posted in Colombo, Sri Lanka, where he covered the final phase of the civil war and its aftermath. Patranobis covered several beats including health and national politics in Delhi before being posted abroad.

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