China conducts military exercise around Taiwan to warn U.S.

Updated on May 25, 2022 08:03 PM IST

China’s military said on Wednesday it recently conducted a military exercise around Taiwan as a “serious warning” to interactions between the United States and Taiwan

FILE - In this photo taken on April 22, 2013, new recruits practice charging with bayonets at a military training center in Hsinchu County, northern Taiwan. (AP)
FILE - In this photo taken on April 22, 2013, new recruits practice charging with bayonets at a military training center in Hsinchu County, northern Taiwan. (AP)

China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) on Wednesday said it has conducted a military exercise around Taiwan as a warning against its “collusive activities” with the United States, two days after President Joe Biden said Washington would get involved militarily if China were to try to take the self-ruled island by force.

“The PLA Eastern Theater Command recently organised multiple military services and branches to conduct a joint alert patrol and realistic combat exercises in and above the waters around the island of Taiwan,” Senior Colonel Shi Yi, a spokesperson of the Eastern Theatre Command, said in a press release on Wednesday.

“This is a stern warning to the recent collusive activities by the US and Taiwan secessionists,” Shi was quoted in Chinese state media as saying.

Shi accused the US of saying one thing and doing another over the Taiwan question, as well as frequently encouraging “Taiwan independence” forces.

“It is hypocritical and futile, and will only lead the situation to a place where it becomes dangerous, with the US facing serious consequences as well,” Shi said.

Shi did not give details about when the drill was held or whether the exercise was ongoing.

Separately, Chinese defence ministry spokesperson, Senior Colonel Tan Kefei, said, “The PLA is all set to await the order for battle, and will take all necessary measures to resolutely thwart interference by external forces and ‘Taiwan independence’ forces’ secession attempts,” state-run tabloid, Global Times reported.

The announcement of the drill comes a day after China and Russia sent air force bombers over the seas in northeast Asia coinciding with the in-person Tokyo summit of the leaders of the Quad countries India, the US, Australia and Japan.

It was Beijing’s and Moscow’s first joint military exercise since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on February 24.

When asked about the military exercise, Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson, Wang Wenbin said the US actions on Taiwan-related issues were “erroneous”.

“I would like to stress again that the US attempts to hollow out the one-China principle, and overt and covert instigation and support for ‘Taiwan independence’ separatist activities will not only cause irreversible consequences for China-US relations, but also make the US pay an unbearable price,” Wang said at the regular ministry briefing.

China claims Taiwan as a renegade region and has not ruled out the use of force to reunify with it. In recent months, it has stepped up military drills around the island in a show of strength.

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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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