Ma Xiaoguang, spokesperson for the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council. (Photo/chinadaily.com.cn)
Military exercises conducted by the People's Liberation Army near Taiwan are aimed at "Taiwan independence" secessionists and are a just and necessary move to protect peace and stability across the Taiwan Straits, the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council said on Wednesday.
The drills also target interference by foreign forces and safeguard national sovereignty, territorial integrity, and the common interests of compatriots on both sides of the Straits, the office said.
The comments came after Taiwan's "defense" authority claimed last week that military tensions across the Taiwan Straits are at their worst in 40 years and warned that the Chinese mainland would be fully capable of mounting a full-scale "invasion" of the island by 2025.
The island's Democratic Progressive Party politicians have been appealing to the United States and its allies to strengthen their commitment to the island to deter the mainland. Joseph Wu, a high-ranking DPP official, claimed that the island was preparing for war with the mainland and would fight to the end.
The PLA Daily said in a social media post on Monday that the PLA had carried out beach landing drills in the southern part of Fujian province, across the sea from Taiwan. Footage that accompanied the post showed PLA soldiers seizing a beach, destroying barbed wire and digging trenches in the sand.
A record number of mainland military aircraft flew near Taiwan during the National Day holiday, with almost 150 aircraft sent into the island's "air defense zone" between Oct 1 and 4, island media reported.
Speaking at a news conference on Wednesday, Taiwan Affairs Office spokesman Ma Xiaoguang condemned the DPP for hyping up the exercises as a "military threat" to Taiwan compatriots and inciting confrontations across the Straits.
Ma said the DPP and "Taiwan independence" forces had misjudged the situation and colluded with foreign forces, which was the root cause of the current tension and turbulence across the Taiwan Straits.
"They have turned black to white on various occasions and played up the so-called military threat from the mainland," Ma said. "These measures cannot deceive the Taiwan people and the international community."
He warned the DPP that its attempts to collude with foreign forces to seek "independence" and even realize it by force would inevitably fail.