People’s Liberation Armyconducted joint combat readiness patrols in the sea and airspace around the island of Taiwan“Beijing announced on Sunday.
China says it conducted military drills on Sunday, Dec. 25, near Taiwan, which it claims were in response to “Provocation” and to “secret cooperationbetween the United States and the authorities on the island. The number of units mobilized was not specified, nor was the exact location of these maneuvers.
China considers Taiwan, with a population of 24 million, to be one of its provinces that it has not yet succeeded in reuniting with the rest of its territory since the end of the Chinese Civil War in 1949. It views with displeasure the rapprochement at work in recent years between the Taiwanese authorities and the United States, which has provided the island with military support against Beijing for decades.
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People’s Liberation Army (PLA)conducted joint combat readiness patrols and joint air and sea strike exercises around the island of Taiwansaid Shi Yi, spokesman for the Eastern Theater of Operations. “This is a firm response to the growing cooperation between the US and the Taiwanese authorities and their provocations“, he emphasized in a press release.
The PLA also released images of a bomber, a warship and an aerial view that, from a plane cockpit, shows what is said to be a mountain range in Taiwan. This last shot is intended to emphasize that the unit was approaching relatively close to the Taiwanese coast.
Still rising tension between China and Taiwan
The US-Taiwan rapprochement initiated under former US President Donald Trump has helped strain relations between China and the US. On Saturday, December 24, the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs had expressed its “fixed resistanceafter the passage of a US Defense Act, “National Defense Authorization Act“, which notably authorizes $10 billion in military aid and arms sales to Taiwan.
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Last August, the PLA conducted major military exercises around Taiwan, an unprecedented show of force, in retaliation for a visit to the island by the Speaker of the US House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi. Chinese diplomacy viewed the move as a provocation, as the United States officially pledged to recognize the Communist government in Beijing as China’s sole legitimate representative.
The Chinese authorities favor a “peaceful reunificationwith the island, but has never renounced the use of force to conquer it, especially if it declares its independence.