Status: 04/08/2023 8:25 AM
China says it has started three days of military exercises around Taiwan. The government in Beijing was responding to the US visit of Taiwanese President Tsai.
China has launched a three-day military exercise around the island of Taiwan in response to Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen’s visit to the United States. The Chinese military said the military exercises would be held “on schedule” in the Taiwan Strait, north, south and east of the island. It is a “warning” to the “separatist forces” in Taiwan. The maneuver around the island comes amid tensions between China and Taiwan and its backer the United States.
Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen has accused Beijing of “authoritarian expansion”. She explained that Taiwan “will continue to work with the United States and other countries (…) to defend the values of freedom and democracy.” The defense ministry in Taipei has accused Beijing of endangering regional security.
Ministry: “irrational actions”
According to the military, live-fire exercises are scheduled for Monday on the coast of Fujian Province. The targeted exercises will be held on or near Pingtan Island, China’s closest outpost off Taiwan, according to local authorities.
Taiwan’s defense ministry said eight Chinese warships and 42 warplanes were spotted around the island in the past 24 hours. 29 aircraft violated the air control area in Taiwan. The ministry spoke of “irrational actions”.
The Taiwan president’s trip to the United States caused tension
Taiwanese President Tsai had just returned from a trip to the United States a few days ago, where she met with Speaker of the US House of Representatives Kevin McCarthy. The government in Beijing was furious. In protest of the meeting, China imposed sanctions on the organizers of American events involving Tsai.
China’s Defense Ministry said that China is using Tsai’s visit to the United States “as a pretext to conduct military exercises that seriously undermine peace, stability and security in the region.”
Tsai also received a delegation of US lawmakers headed by Michael McCaul, chairman of the US House Committee on Foreign Affairs, in Taipei, the capital of Taiwan.
The communist leadership in Beijing considers the island’s Democratic Republic to be part of the People’s Republic of China established in 1949, although Taiwan has never been a part of it. McCarthy’s predecessor Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan in August led to a serious crisis.
Taiwan announces the start of Chinese maneuvers
Udo Schmidt, ARD New Delhi, Apr 8, 2023 7:33 am