The Eastern Theater Command of the Chinese People's Liberation Army on Saturday launched combat readiness patrol and military exercises around the Taiwan Island, which were scheduled to run through Monday. The patrols and exercises are taking place in the maritime areas and airspace of the Taiwan Straits, off the northern and southern coasts of the island, and to the island's east. (CHINA DAILY)
Warships of the Eastern Theater Command of the People's Liberation Army continued their combat training around Taiwan on Tuesday after completion of the three-day interservice patrols and the "Joint Sword" exercises around the island, the command said.
According to the command's news release on Wednesday, several destroyers and frigates, which took part in the joint exercises, conducted further training in the waters surrounding Taiwan to hone the command skills of officers and test the performance of weapons.
The crew on CNS Xuzhou, a Type 054A guided-missile frigate sailing near Taiwan's eastern coast, were put through intense drills on missile interception and attacks on enemy vessels. Meanwhile, CNS Xi'an, a Type 052C guided-missile destroyer, simulated anti-ship tasks in another area of the sea. The two ships and other vessels also participated in anti-submarine and air defense maneuvers.
Captain Liu Guoliang, commander of the Xuzhou, told China Central Television that the training on Tuesday was based on experience gained during the "Joint Sword" exercises, and it will help improve the crew's combat skills and prepare them better for interservice operations.
During the three-day joint exercises that started on Saturday, PLA naval vessels simulated port blockades and attacks on enemy ships.
Command spokesman Senior Colonel Shi Yi said that during the drills, the forces comprehensively examined their capability of conducting joint operations in realistic battlefield scenarios, and they will stand ready at all times to defeat any form of "Taiwan independence" separatism and foreign interference attempts.
On Tuesday, several long-range multiple-launch rocket units under the PLA Eastern Theater Command's ground force conducted saturation bombardment exercises on designated targets, the command said.
The recent PLA exercises were targeted at "Taiwan independence" separatist acts and foreign interference attempts, rather than compatriots in Taiwan, a spokeswoman said.
Zhu Fenglian, a spokeswoman for the State Council Taiwan Affairs Office, said on Wednesday that the operations organized by the PLA Eastern Theater Command surrounding Taiwan were countermeasures and a serious warning against collusion and provocations by "Taiwan independence" separatists and external anti-China forces, and were a necessary move to safeguard China's sovereignty and territorial integrity.
"Currently, 'Taiwan independence' separatists continue to seek to advance their secessionist cause and keep provoking the mainland. Some foreign forces have also been playing up the 'Taiwan card'. Their acts have severely damaged the fundamental interests of the Chinese nation and the Chinese people across the Taiwan Straits, gravely threatened cross-Straits peace and stability and seriously compromised the prospects for peaceful unification," she said.
Zhu called on Taiwan compatriots to further realize the damage done by separatists' provocations to the peaceful development of cross-Straits relations as well as cross-Straits peace and stability.
"We hope they can distinguish between right and wrong, realize what is in their interest and what is not, and then choose the right side and stand with us to fight against 'Taiwan independence' separatist acts and foreign interference to maintain the peaceful development of cross-Straits relations," she said.