China says it has conducted more military drills around Taiwan | Military News

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The latest Chinese drills around Taiwan are the second major military exercise in less than a month.

China’s military has said it conducted military exercises around the self-ruled island of Taiwan that focused on ground strikes and naval attacks, the second such drill in less than a month.

The People’s Liberation Army’s Eastern Theater Command said in a statement late Sunday that its forces had organized “joint combat readiness patrols and real combat drills” in the sea and airspace around Taiwan. , which Beijing claims as their own.

The goal of the exercises was to test joint combat capabilities and “counter the provocative actions of outside forces and Taiwan independence separatist forces,” said Colonel Shi Yi, a spokesman for the command, in a short statement.

Taiwan’s defense ministry said Monday it had detected 57 Chinese military aircraft and four naval vessels operating around the island over the previous 24 hours, sharing maps on Twitter to show their flight paths.

Some 28 of the aircraft entered the air defense identification zone (ADIZ) off southwestern Taiwan, he said, with some crossing the center line of the Taiwan Strait, an unofficial buffer between the two sides. Two nuclear-capable H-6 bombers were flown south of Taiwan, the ministry’s map showed.

China carried out similar exercises late last month after the United States passed a defense spending bill that included aid to Taiwan, with Taipei reporting that 43 Chinese aircraft crossed the central line. The same week, Taipei announced that it would extend mandatory military service from the current four months to one year starting from 2024.

China, which has not ruled out the use of force to bring the island under its control, has stepped up its military activities in the waters and airspace near Taiwan since Tsai Ing-wen was elected as president first in 2016. But tensions rose dramatically last August after that – US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited the island.

Taiwan’s government says only the Taiwanese people can decide the island’s future and has vowed to defend itself if China attacks them.

Beijing’s latest moves come as members of parliament from Germany arrived on Monday ahead of a ministerial visit later this year.

The visit was a “sign of solidarity” with the self-governing democracy, Marie-Agnes Strack-Zimmermann, chairwoman of the parliament’s defense committee and leader of a high-ranking delegation, told the AFP news agency.

Representatives from the Free Democratic Party (FDP) – a junior partner in Germany’s coalition government – met with “key figures from politics, civil society and the military,” Strack-Zimmermann said, and they discussed the current “threat situation”. .

China’s military deployed 1,727 aircraft to Taiwan’s ADIZ in 2022, according to data from the Taiwan government. That compares to about 960 attacks in 2021 and 380 in 2020.

The US does not have formal diplomatic ties with Taiwan but is obligated by law to provide the island with a means to defend itself.

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