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Taiwan mobilized its aircraft and put missile, naval and ground units on alert ahead of Chinese military exercises

Taiwan mobilized its aircraft and put missile, naval and ground units on alert ahead of Chinese military exercises

Taiwan’s president says he will defend freedom and democracy as China begins military exercises

Taiwan The planes were deployed and took off Alerts its missile, sea and land units Through Chinese military maneuvers around the autonomous island, where a new president took power this week.

The Chinese army stated that The two-day maneuvers around Taiwan were a punishment for separatist forces seeking independence. Beijing claims that the island is part of Chinese national territory, and the People’s Liberation Army sends warships and warplanes on an almost daily basis to the Taiwan Strait and other areas around the island to exhaust Taiwan’s defenses and try to intimidate its people, who strongly support it for de facto independence.

A Taiwanese Air Force Mirage 2000-5 prepares to land at Hsinchu Air Base on Thursday (Reuters/Carlos Garcia Rollins)

the “China’s irrational provocation endangers regional peace and stability,” he added. The island’s Ministry of Defense announced. He said Taiwan would not seek conflict but would “not shy away from conflict.”

He added: “This pretext for military maneuvers not only does not contribute to peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait; it also does not contribute to achieving peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait.” Deep down, her dominant nature emerges.” The ministry statement says.

In his inauguration speech on Monday, Taiwan’s president said: William Lay (Also called in Taiwanese.) Lai Ching TBeijing called for an end to military intimidation and pledged to do so “Do not give in and do not provoke” To leaders of the Communist Party in mainland China.

William Lai poses for photos with soldiers during his visit to a military camp in Taoyuan. (Reuters/Ann Wang)

“In the face of external challenges and threats, “We will continue to preserve the values ​​of freedom and democracy.” Lai told sailors and senior security officials on Thursday during his visit to a naval base in Taoyuan, south of the capital, Taipei.

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Although he did not directly refer to China’s moves, He said the international community is concerned about Taiwan’s securityThis likely reflects its key role in supply chains for the most advanced computer chips, as well as being a democratic bulwark against Chinese moves to assert its control over the Asia-Pacific region.

Lai said he seeks dialogue with Beijing while maintaining Taiwan’s current status. And avoid conflicts that might attract the island’s main ally, the United States, and other regional partners such as Japan and Australia.

Lai notices a rocket launcher (Reuters/Ann Wang)

The main opposition party, Nationalist partygenerally considered pro-China, also condemned Beijing’s actions.

Nationalists, also known as Kuomintang The Kuomintang requested from the other side of the Taiwan Strait. Act with moderation, Stop unnecessary maneuversAvoid conflict in the Taiwan Strait and maintain peace and development outcomes between the two parties.

A Taiwanese sailor on a Taiwan Navy ship looks toward a Chinese warship as it sails in the waters off the west coast of Taiwan. (Reuters)

Tensions arose on Thursday Amid protests in front of the Legislative Assembly in Taiwan against the Nationalists’ maneuvers And their allies to use their slim majority to force Approval of laws that may affect military budgets and judicial and other key appointments.

The Chinese army begins military maneuvers around the island of Taiwan

he Eastern Theater Command of the People’s Liberation Army The command said on its official Weibo account that the land, sea and air exercises around Taiwan aim to test the naval and air capabilities of the People’s Liberation Army units, in addition to their joint strike capabilities to strike targets and control the battlefield.

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“This is also a Strong punishment for separatist forces The statement said: “We demand independence and a serious warning to foreign powers against interference and provocation.”

A large screen shows a map of military exercises carried out by the Chinese army in five areas around the island of Taiwan in Beijing (Reuters/Tingshu Wang)

The exercises are a “Dangerous warning” Addressed to the “independence supporters” on the island, who They’ll end up with a “broken, bleeding head.”A Chinese diplomatic spokesman said. Wang Wenbin.

The People’s Liberation Army also published A A map of your planned exercise areaThat surrounds the main island Taiwan At five different points, as well as places like Matsu And Kinmenthe outlying islands closer to mainland China than Taiwan.

The Chinese Coast Guard also said in a statement that it had done so Organized a fleet to carry out law enforcement exercises Nearby are two islands near the Kinmen and Matsu island groups, which are controlled by Taiwan and located off the Chinese coast.

A Chinese warship sails in the waters near Pingjia Island in northern Taiwan (Taiwan Coast Guard/Reuters)

Although China described the maneuvers as punishment for the election results in Taiwan,… The Progressive Democratic Party has led the island’s government for more than a decadeAlthough the pro-Chinese Nationalist Party won a majority of one seat in Parliament.

in Australiathe first team Marine Corps Steven Sklenka, Deputy Commander, United States Indo-Pacific CommandThe countries of Asia and the Pacific called for this Condemning Chinese military maneuvers

“It is not surprising that every time there is an action that highlights Taiwan on the international stage The Chinese feel compelled to make some kind of statementSklenka told the Australian National Press Club in the capital, Canberra, in reference to the president’s inauguration on Monday.

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“fact Just because we expect this behavior doesn’t mean we shouldn’t condemn it, and we should condemn it publicly. It must come from us, but I think it must also come from the countries of the region. Sklenka added: “It is one thing for the United States to condemn the Chinese, but I think its influence is much stronger when it comes from countries in the region.”

The main envoy of Japan He intervened during his visit to the United States and mentioned this Japan and Taiwan share values ​​and principlesSuch as freedom, democracy, fundamental rights and the rule of law.

“(Taiwan) is our most important partner, We maintain close economic relations and people-to-people exchanges with him, and he is our best friend, the Foreign Minister said. yoko kamikawa, To the press in Washington, where he met with the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Anthony Blinken.

The two ministers talked about Taiwan and the importance of maintaining the peacefulness of the Taiwan Strait, one of the most important waterways in the world.

(With information from AP)