China conducts military exercises near Taiwan as “punishment”

China conducts military exercises near Taiwan as “punishment”

BarcelonaChina launched new military exercises around the island of Taiwan “as punishment for separatist acts on the island,” according to Chinese public television. Just three days ago, Taiwan’s new president took office, in a ceremony in which he described China as “dangerous thugs.”

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Beijing’s military sent up dozens of fighter jets equipped with real missiles on Thursday morning — and announced they would last until Friday. State broadcaster CCTV said it was also carrying out simulated attacks targeting high-value military targets, “enemy” warships and warplanes. The maneuvers, which extend around the island of Taiwan, also include naval ships and missile forces, according to spokesman for the People’s Liberation Army’s Eastern Theater Command, Navy Colonel Li Shi.

China, which considers Taiwan part of its territory, denounced Lai’s speech on Monday, in which he called on China to stop threats and said the two sides of the Strait “are not subject to each other,” according to Reuters. Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Tuesday described Lai as “shameful.” Lai has repeatedly offered to hold talks with China, but this has been rejected. The new president insists that only the people of Taiwan can decide their future and rejects Beijing’s sovereignty claims.

The People’s Liberation Army’s Eastern Theater Command reported that it began joint military exercises, involving the army, navy, air force and missile forces, in the surrounding areas of Taiwan at 7:45 a.m. China time. The maneuvers are taking place in the Taiwan Strait, north, south and east of the island, as well as in the areas surrounding the Taiwan-controlled islands of Kinmen, Matsu, Wuxiu and Dongin.

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