HUALIEN: Taiwan is holding military drills to show its ability to resist Chinese pressure to accept Beijing’s political control over the self-governing island, following new rounds of threatening drills from China.
Wednesday’s drills off southeastern Hualien County follow days of Chinese missile launches and incursions into Taiwan’s sea and airspace by ships and aircraft of the People’s Liberation Army, the military wing of China’s ruling Communist Party.
“We strongly condemn Communist China’s continued military provocations around Taiwan’s sea and air that undermine regional peace,” Taiwan Defense Ministry spokesman Sun Li-fang told reporters. reporters at Hualien Air Base.
“Communist China’s military operations just give us the opportunity to train in combat readiness,” Sun said.
Taiwanese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Joanne Ou said China was using recent US visits Congress members, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, as a pretext to step up his attempts to intimidate Taiwan into accepting what he calls his “peaceful reunification” terms.
“China launched military provocations on these grounds. It is an absurd and barbaric act, which also undermines regional stability and interferes with maritime and trade activities in the Indo-Pacific region,” Ou said.
China views the island as a breakaway province to be annexed by force if necessary, and views visits to Taiwan by foreign officials as recognition of its sovereignty.
Along with its military threats, China on Tuesday imposed visa bans and other sanctions on Taiwanese political figures. China has no effective legal authority over Taiwan and it is unclear what effect the sanctions would have.
China refused any contact with the Taiwanese government shortly after the 2016 election of President Tsai Ing-wen of the Democratic Progressive Independence Party. Tsai was overwhelmingly re-elected in 2020.
The DPP also controls the legislature, while the vast majority of Taiwanese favor maintaining the status quo of de facto independence as well as strong economic and social ties between the parties.
China accuses Washington of encouraging the island’s independence through arms sales and engagement between US politicians and the island’s government. The United States says it does not support independence and has no formal diplomatic relations with the island, but is legally bound to ensure Taiwan can defend itself against threats from China , including a blockade.
In addition to putting its military on high alert, Taiwan has largely downplayed the threat of Chinese exercises and life has gone on as normal among a population of 23 million who live under the shadow of belligerent rhetoric and China’s sword noises for more than seven decades. .

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