The Chinese military said on Wednesday it had conducted a “preparation patrol” in recent days in the sea and airspace around Taiwan, saying it was a necessary step in responding to “terrorism” between Washington and Taipei.
China, which claims democratically ruled Taiwan as its own territory, has stepped up its military strategy around the island for the past two years or so, as it seeks to pressure Taipei to accept its claim to sovereignty.
China is particularly dissatisfied with US support for Taiwan.
U.S. President Joe Biden last week angered China by hinting at a change in U.S. policy on Taiwan’s “strategic ambiguity”, saying the United States would be militarily involved if China invaded the island. U.S. officials say there has been no change in policy.
In a statement, the People’s Liberation Army Eastern Theater Command said the war “preparation patrol” had taken place in the vicinity of Taiwan in recent days and was “a necessary step against the US-Taiwan alliance”.
“Recently, the United States has often taken action on the Taiwan issue, saying one thing and doing another, persuading Taiwan’s independence forces to support it, which would push Taiwan into a dangerous situation,” the command added.
Taiwan is part of China and Chinese troops are intensifying their readiness to “destroy” military training and the intervention of foreign powers and the actions of those who support Taiwan’s independence, it said.
Although the statement did not give an exact date when the exercise took place, Taiwan on Monday reported the largest intrusion by the Chinese air force into its air defense zone since January. The island’s defense ministry said Taiwanese fighters jumped on 30 planes to warn them.
Taiwan has repeatedly complained about such operations in its Air Defense Identification Zone, or ADIZ.
No shots were fired and Chinese aircraft were not flying over Taiwan, but in its ADIZ, a wide range of Taiwan surveillance and patrols provided more time to respond to any threat.
Taiwan has said that only its people have the right to determine the future of the island by rejecting China’s claim to sovereignty.
(Except for the title, this story was not edited by NDTV staff and was published from a syndicated feed.)