Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Taiwan Watches Third Day of Chinese Military Exercises

Taiwan said Monday it is closely monitoring as China carried out a third day of military exercises.

Taiwan’s military said China sent dozens of warplanes and 11 warships toward Taiwan as part of the drills that began Saturday.

Chinese state broadcaster CCTV said China’s military was simulating sealing off Taiwan and simulating strikes against important targets on the island.

Japan’s defense ministry said Monday the Chinese aircraft carrier Shandong conducted air operations in waters close to Japan’s Okinawan islands on Sunday.

Also Monday, the United States said its guided-missile destroyer USS Milius passed near the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea. The disputed islands are claimed entirely by China and partly by Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam.

“This freedom of navigation operation upheld the rights, freedoms, and lawful uses of the sea,” the U.S. Navy said in a statement

China’s maneuvers around Taiwan come in response to Taiwan’s president meeting with U.S. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and other members of Congress in California last week.

Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen denounced the drills, saying Taiwan will continue to work with the United States and other democracies as the island faces “continued authoritarian expansionism” from China.

The United States has a “One China” policy, which acknowledges that Beijing considers Taiwan to be part of China. The U.S. considers Taiwan’s status unsettled and sends military aid to the self-governed island to help it defend itself.

U.S. President Joe Biden has frequently said the United States would defend Taiwan militarily if China were to invade, although Washington has maintained that its One China policy has not changed.

Last year, Tsai hosted then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in Taiwan and China reacted by holding its largest live-fire military drills in decades around Taiwan.

Some material for this report came from The Associated Press, Reuters and Agence France-Presse.

Read the complete story on VOA News

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