China Initiates Military Operations As ‘Stern Warning’ to Taiwan

19 August, 2023 | Anamika Singh Parihar

China World

China conducts joint patrols and drills near Taiwan in response to Taiwan VP's US visit.

China initiated joint air and maritime patrols along with military drills near Taiwan on Saturday. These actions, referred to by Beijing as “strong caution,” were directed at those advocating for “Taiwan independence” and collaborating with foreign forces, according to a report from Xinhua News Agency.

This maneuver was prompted by Taiwan Vice President William Lai’s recent “stopover” in the United States. Shi Yi, a spokesperson for the Chinese People’s Liberation Army’s Eastern Theater Command, was cited by Xinhua as saying that these patrols and exercises were designed to enhance the synchronization between military aircraft and naval vessels, as well as their capability to assume control over airspace and maritime regions.

Shi emphasized that these patrols and exercises will gauge the armed forces’ capability to operate effectively under genuine combat circumstances. He further noted that these maneuvers are intended to strongly caution against the collaboration of individuals advocating for “Taiwan independence” with foreign actors and their instigations, according to reports from China’s state media.

In response, Taiwan’s Defense Ministry issued a statement denouncing China’s recent military drills near the island, describing them as irrational and provocative conduct. The ministry declared its intention to deploy appropriate troops in adherence to the “Regulations on the Handling of Emergencies during the Period of Regular Combat Readiness of the National Army.” This action is aimed at safeguarding the principles of freedom, democracy, and sovereignty of the Republic of China through tangible measures.

The Ministry of National Defense of Taiwan highlighted that over the past few years, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has persisted in deploying aircraft and vessels to create disturbances and disruptions, resulting in significant disruptions to regional security.

Taiwan urged its citizens to provide unwavering support and establish a shared agreement of cohesion during challenging times in the strait region. It emphasized the importance of collaboration between the military and civilians in establishing a pivotal defense capability, working collectively to safeguard the nation’s cherished homeland.

“Launching a military exercise under pretext this time not only does not help the peace and stability of the Taiwan Strait but also highlights its militaristic mentality and confirms the hegemonic nature of military expansion,” the statement of Taiwan’s defense ministry read.

“The Ministry of National Defense emphasized that in the face of repeated advances by the Communist army, all officers and soldiers of the national army are ready to fight, uphold the strong will of “preparing for war, not seeking war, responding to war, not avoiding war”, and have the ability, determination, and confidence to ensure national security,” it also read.

Previously, when Lai made a visit to the United States, China criticized the journey and pledged to enact “strong measures”.

In a statement issued by the country’s Foreign Ministry after Lai’s stopover at the US, China said, “China firmly opposes any form of official interaction between the US and the Taiwan region. We firmly oppose any visit by ‘Taiwan independence’ separatists to the US in any name or under whatever pretext, and we firmly oppose the US government having any form of official contact with the Taiwan region. China deplores and strongly condemns the US decision to arrange the so-called ‘stopover’ for Lai Ching-te.”

“We call upon the United States to adhere to the principles of one-China and the three China-US joint communiqués. Fulfill the promise of refraining from endorsing ‘Taiwan independence,’ ‘two Chinas,’ or ‘one China, one Taiwan.’ Cease all official engagements with Taiwan, discontinue any form of endorsement for separatist movements or activities related to ‘Taiwan independence,’ and refrain from diluting the essence of the one-China principle,” according to the statements.

“China is closely monitoring the situation’s evolution and will take firm and decisive actions to protect its sovereignty and territorial integrity,” the statement further emphasized.

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