China Launches Strike Drills in Response to US ‘Provocation’

Just days after Washington authorized a $10 million security assistance package to Taiwan which Chinese leadership described as a serious political provocation against China, Beijing has launched military drills near the self-governing island for the continued escalation in the region.

China’s Eastern Theater Command said in a statement on Sunday that the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has staged military exercises near Taiwan without specifying the exact location or the scale of the exercise.

The command spokesman, Colonel Shi Yi, said in a brief statement that PLA organized joint combat-readiness patrols and firepower strike drills in airspace and waters around the self-governing island that China considers an inalienable part of its territory as a resolute response to the escalating collusion and provocation by Taiwan and the US.

The colonel added in his stamen that the PLA would take all necessary measures to defend China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

Though he did not reveal the nature of the alleged US provocation, the drills took place just two days after President Biden signed into law the 2023 US National Defense Authorization Act that authorizes $10 billion in security assistance and fast-tracked weapons procurement for Taiwan.

Washington has actively supported Taipei while formally following the One China policy and recognizing Beijing’s sovereignty over the island.

Beijing was also repeatedly objecting to visits of senior US officials to Taiwan – including the visit of US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in August – as well as booming military cooperation between Taipei and Washington.

The latest objection came on Friday when, in a phone call with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi called on Washington to drop its policy of unilateral bullying and accused Washington of stabbing Beijing in the back.

China’s Defense Ministry blasted the bill on Saturday, stressing that it seriously increases the risk of a direct military conflict between the US and China and jeopardizes the peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait.

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