PLA holds drill near Taiwan after provocations

2021-08-18 08:42:18China Daily Editor : Li Yan ECNS App Download

The People's Liberation Army Eastern Theater Command conducted a coordinated joint assault drill on Tuesday in the airspace and southwestern and southeastern waters off the island of Taiwan, in a solemn response to foreign interference and provocations from Taiwan separatist forces.

Senior Colonel Shi Yi, the spokesman for the command, said the drill involved warships, anti-submarine aircraft, fighter jets and other military units, with a goal to test the command's coordinated combat capability.

Shi said recent collusion and provocations by the United States and Taiwan separatists have seriously undermined China's sovereignty, as well as peace and stability in the Taiwan Straits.

"It has become the biggest source of trouble" in the region, he added.

Therefore, the drill was a necessary action in light of these developments.

Shi said the command will continue to enhance combat training and preparation. It has the determination and capability to thwart any secession attempts and safeguard national sovereignty and territorial integrity, he said.

Despite the one-China principle and three China-U.S. joint communiques, the U.S. has constantly breached its own commitments in recent years by engaging in official exchanges with Taiwan, and has sold arms to it and helped the region to expand its so-called international space.

As Tuesday marked the 39th anniversary of the August 17th communique between China and the U.S., Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said that China urged Washington to recognize the highly sensitive nature and serious harm of arms sales to Taiwan.

In the communique, which was signed in 1982, the U.S. said that it does not seek to carry out a long-term policy of arms sales to Taiwan, that its arms sales to Taiwan will not exceed the level of those supplied in the years since the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and the U.S., and that it intends to gradually reduce its arms sales to Taiwan, leading over a period of time to a final resolution.

However, the spokeswoman noted that over the past 39 years, the total amount of arms sold by successive U.S. administrations to Taiwan has hit nearly $70 billion, including the first such deal under the administration of U.S. President Joe Biden-an agreement approved recently that is worth $750 million.

"No matter how many weapons the U.S. provides to Taiwan, it cannot change the overriding trend of cross-Straits relations, still less to stop the process of China's reunification," Hua said. She added that no one should underestimate China's determination and capacity to safeguard sovereignty and territorial integrity.

"We reserve the option of taking all necessary measures in response to interference by external forces and a very small number of 'Taiwan independence' forces," she added.

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