China’s military to ‘regularly’ patrol waters around Taiwan

Beijing, Aug 11 (EFE).- China’s military “will organize regular combat patrols” in the waters around Taiwan, military spokesman Shi Yi announced, according to the state China Daily newspaper on Thursday.

Shi, a spokesman for the Eastern Theater Command, said on Wednesday that recent military air and sea drills “achieved their mission objectives” and “effectively tested” the “joint combat capability” of the Chinese forces.

After the visit of United States House speaker Nancy Pelosi to Taiwan, Beijing announced military drills around the island to run from Thursday to Sunday last week, although that was extended until this Wednesday.

The live-fire drills, of an intensity not seen in decades, included the launching of long-range missiles and the blockade of air and sea spaces in six areas off Taiwan’s coast, which Taipei described as a blockade of the island and “irresponsible.”

Shi added that the forces of the Eastern Theater Command will “resolutely safeguard national sovereignty and territorial integrity,” China Daily said.

China’s defense ministry spokesman Tan Kefei asserted that the maneuvers serve as powerful deterrence to Taiwan separatist forces and foreign interference and added that Chinese military actions are “justified and necessary actions to protect national sovereignty and territorial integrity.”

Tan added that the military exercises were carried out in accordance with domestic and international laws and practices, and that “the process of reunification is unstoppable,” according to the paper.

“We are willing to exercise utmost sincerity and effort to pursue the prospect of peaceful reunification, but the PLA will leave no room for Taiwan separatist forces and foreign powers to achieve their goals,” he concluded.

Last week, Beijing announced sanctions against Pelosi and her direct relatives and raised the level of its retaliation by suspending cooperation mechanisms with Washington in judicial matters, climate change, repatriation of illegal immigrants, criminal judicial assistance and the fight against transnational crime.

China views the self-governing territory as a rebel province and has not ruled out use of force to achieve “reunification.” EFE


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