Saturday 25 May 2024 - 10:04

China Ends Drills Around Taiwan, Vows to Smash All Separatist Plots

Story Code : 1137438
China Ends Drills Around Taiwan, Vows to Smash All Separatist Plots
The two-day military drills, which began on Thursday, were launched after an inauguration speech on Monday by Taipei’s new pro-independence President William Lai Ching-te.

Lai threatened to “stand on the front line” to defend Taipei against Beijing. China strongly criticized Lai’s speech as a “confession of independence”.

China’s defense ministry spokesman Wu Qian said that the new president of Chinese Taipei had “seriously challenged the one-China principle... pushing our compatriots in Taiwan into a perilous situation of war and danger.”

The country, which claims democratically governed Taiwan as its own territory, then launched the "Joint Sword - 2024A" exercises.

Beijing said the exercises were "punishment" for Lai's inauguration speech, in which he said the two sides of the Taiwan Strait were "not subordinate to each other", which China viewed as a declaration the two are separate countries.

On Friday 46 Chinese military planes crossed the Taiwan Strait's median line, which previously served as an unofficial barrier between the two sides, Taiwan's defense ministry said on Saturday. It said it had detected a total of 62 Chinese aircraft and 27 navy ships.

A presenter for CCTV-7, China’s state-run military news channel, said late Friday that the People’s Liberation Army [PLA] “successfully completed” the “Joint Sword-2024A” drills.

Beijing views Taiwan as its own territory and does not rule out using force to return the territory under its control. It sees the new Taiwanese president as a “separatist” and “troublemaker”.

The People's Liberation Army Daily commentary, published as "the voice of the military", said Lai was determined to act as a "pawn" for external forces to curb China's development.

"If Taiwan independence separatist forces insist on going their own way or even take risks, the PLA will obey orders and take decisive action to resolutely smash all separatist plots," it said.

The US gives the island financial and military aid in an effort to decrease Beijing’s regional clout.