China said on Wednesday that its joint military exercises around Taiwan were a “stern warning” against US-Taiwan “collusion actions.”
In the oceans and airspace near Taiwan Island, the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) recently launched joint combat-readiness patrols and real combat training exercises involving different services and arms, according to military spokesperson Col. Shi Yi.
“This is a strong warning against recent collaboration between the US and Taiwan,” Shi remarked.
The latest Chinese military drills come after US Vice President Joe Biden raised the stakes on Taiwan during his first trip to Asia as president.
Biden stated in Tokyo on Monday that if China attempted to take Taiwan by force, the US would engage militarily, angering Beijing.
Taipei, however, has insisted on its independence since 1949 and has diplomatic relations with at least 14 nations.
Biden later said Washington’s stance on Taiwan had not changed and it would not abandon the “One-China” policy.
Shi asserted it was “hypocritical and futile for the US to say one thing and do another on the Taiwan issue,” saying its actions “frequently encourage ‘Taiwan independence’ forces.”
“Taiwan is part of China … (our) troops are determined and capable of thwarting any external forces’ interference and separatist attempts … and resolutely safeguard national sovereignty and security and regional peace and stability,” the spokesperson added.
China also carried out joint drills with Russia on Tuesday, sending six jets over the Sea of Japan and East China Sea as leaders of the Quad group – the US, India, Australia and Japan – were meeting in Tokyo.
Japan condemned the “show of force” and expressed its “grave concerns” to Beijing and Moscow.
“We cannot overlook actions that heighten tensions in East Asia when Russia has already increased tensions in Ukraine,” Hirokazu Matsuno, Japan’s top government spokesperson, said on Wednesday.
China, though, rebuffed Tokyo’s complaints, saying it was a “routine joint strategic air patrol.”
“This operation does not target any third party, and has nothing to do with the current international and regional situation,” said Sr. Col. Wu Qian, spokesperson for the Chinese Defense Ministry.