China says it has ‘completed various tasks’ around Taiwan

China’s military has “completed various tasks” in Taiwan but will carry out regular patrols, it said on Wednesday, which could signal the end of the days of war games, but also that Beijing will keep its pressure on the island.

Furious over last week’s visit to Taipei by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, China has extended its largest exercises to date around the self-governing island it claims as its own beyond four days. originally scheduled.

Last week’s drills included ballistic missile launches, some of which flew over the island’s capital, Taipei, and simulated air and sea strikes in the surrounding skies and waters.

In a brief statement, the People’s Liberation Army Eastern Theater Command said their joint military operations in Taiwan had “successfully completed various tasks and effectively tested the troops’ integrated combat capabilities.”

He continued: “Theater forces will monitor changes in the situation in the Taiwan Strait, continue to train and prepare for combat, organize regular combat readiness patrols in the direction of the Taiwan Strait, and resolutely defend national sovereignty and integrity. territorial”.

There was no immediate reaction from Taiwan on a possible end to the increased military activity, but Taiwan’s Defense Ministry said a total of 17 Chinese warplanes crossed the median line of the Taiwan Strait on Wednesday.

CLOCK | Uncertainty surrounds the duration and scope of the Chinese military exercises:

China announces new military exercises off Taiwan

China says it is expanding military exercises around Taiwan, a day after live-fire activities ended.

Video from state broadcaster CCTV on Wednesday showed Chinese warplanes fighting and refueling in the air, as well as navy ships in what it said were drills around Taiwan.

China’s military said the drills focused on blockades and resupply logistics, “under a complex electromagnetic environment to refine joint containment and control capabilities,” according to CCTV.

Opposition politician criticized for trip to mainland

Andrew Hsia, deputy chairman of Taiwan’s main opposition party, the Kuomintang, flew to China for what his party said was a pre-arranged trip to meet with Taiwanese businesspeople.

Hsia told reporters he will not be traveling to Beijing and has no official meetings scheduled.

A man is shown speaking in front of several microphones.
Andrew Hsia is shown in a 2016 file photo. The Taiwanese government expressed regret at the timing of the opposition figure’s trip to mainland China. (Sam Yeh/AFP/Getty Images)

However, Taiwan expressed “regret” over the trip that came amid the Chinese drills.

“At this time, the Kuomintang still insisted on going to China, disappointing our people,” said President Tsai Ing-wen.

Taiwan’s foreign minister said Tuesday that China was using the military exercises as a game plan to prepare for an invasion of the democratically-ruled island.

Pelosi says US won’t allow ‘new normal’

Pelosi, a longtime China critic and political ally of President Joe Biden, visited Taiwan last week in the highest-level visit to the island by a US official in decades, despite Chinese warnings.

Speaking at a news conference in Washington, DC, on Wednesday, Pelosi said the United States could not allow China to normalize a new level of pressure on Taiwan.

“What we saw with China is that they were trying to establish a kind of new normal. And we just can’t let that happen,” she said when asked if he expected China to use her visit to justify more drills.

The Biden administration has said that the US military, in the coming weeks, will continue to make routine passages through the Taiwan Strait, which the US government says is an international waterway.

Washington was sticking to its assessment that China would not try to invade Taiwan for the next two years, a Pentagon official said on Monday.

A woman standing before a microphone, pointing her finger.
US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi answers questions about her recent trip to Taiwan and the Indo-Pacific region during a news conference Wednesday on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC (Evelyn Hockstein/Reuters)

China says its relations with Taiwan are an internal matter and it reserves the right to control the island, by force if necessary. Taiwan rejects China’s claims, saying only the people of the island can decide its future.

On Wednesday, Taiwan’s Defense Ministry released a video of its military exercises, saying its military was “ready, keeping our country safe” and that China had not stopped its “raids” in the vicinity.

Taiwanese troops were guarding their posts “24/7” and have raised their alert level, the ministry said, following the guidelines of “defending the middle line, defending territorial waters, and defending sovereignty” to maintain the status quo.

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