China holds military drills around Taiwan as ‘strong punishment’

BBC.com reports: “China has started two days of military exercises around Taiwan, with its military calling them ‘strong punishment’ for the self-ruled island’s ‘separatist acts’.

The drills come three days after the inauguration of President William Lai, who called on China to stop threatening the island and accept the existence of its democracy.

China sees Taiwan as a breakaway province that will eventually be under Beijing’s control, but the island sees itself as distinct.

Taiwan’s defence ministry condemned the Chinese drills as ‘irrational provocations’.

Taipei dispatched naval, air, and ground forces to ‘defend the [island’s] sovereignty’, its defence ministry said.

Thursday’s drills for the first time simulated a full-scale attack, Taiwanese military experts said, rather than an economic blockade.

The exercises took place all around the main island, and for the first time also targeted the Taipei-controlled islands of Kinmen, Matsu, Wuqiu and Dongyin which lie close to the Chinese coast, according to maps released by China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA)…”

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