China has started military drills around neighboring Taiwan that will continue for three days.
According to the AFP news agency, a spokesman for the Chinese military, Shi Yi, said on Saturday that the drills are a countermeasure against the collusion between separatist forces and foreign forces seeking ‘Taiwan independence’ and their provocative activities. Strong warnings are to be issued.
China’s Maritime Authority also said live fire drills would be held off the coast of Fujian on Monday.
China issued a “strong message” to the government of the self-governing island after a meeting between Taiwan’s president and the speaker of the US House.
China’s People’s Liberation Army’s Eastern Command said in a statement that the three-day operation, dubbed “United Sharp Sword,” will last until Monday.
According to the official Xinhua news agency, military spokesman Shi Yi said the drills would take place “in the maritime areas and airspace of the Taiwan Strait, off the northern and southern coasts of the island, and to the east of the island.”
The exercise will also include “live-fire drills” on Monday off the coast of China’s Fujian province, which lies just off Taiwan, the local maritime authority said in a statement.
After Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen met with US House Speaker Kevin McCarthy in California, Beijing sent its warships into the sea near the neighboring country.
According to AFP, China considers democratic, independent Taiwan part of its territory and is determined to one day seize it by force if necessary.
In August last year, in response to former US Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan, China held its largest air and naval war drills.
China has deployed warships, missiles and fighter jets around Taiwan.
At the start of the visit last week, China warned that it would take “strong countermeasures” if the meeting took place.
China added that Tsai Ing-wen’s meeting with US House of Representatives Speaker Kevin McCarthy would be another provocation that violates the One China principle.