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2024-05-23 11:23:40

China holds military drills around Taiwan as 'punishment'

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China holds military drills around Taiwan as 'punishment'

China on Thursday launched two days of military drills to surround self-ruled Taiwan in what it said was "strong punishment" for its "separatist acts", reports BSS.

The war games come after Lai Ching-te was sworn in as Taiwan's new president this week and made an inauguration speech that China denounced as a "confession of independence".

Communist China claims Taiwan as part of its territory and has vowed to bring the island under its rule, by force if necessary.

Thursday and Friday's drills involve military aircraft and naval vessels surrounding Taiwan to test their combat capabilities, China's People's Liberation Army announced.

Taiwan responded quickly to China's announcement on Thursday morning, saying it had deployed sea, air and ground forces to "defend freedom".

"The Ministry of National Defence strongly condemned such irrational provocations and actions that undermine regional peace and stability," it said.

China has previously branded Lai a "dangerous separatist" who would bring "war and decline" to it.

On Tuesday, it warned of strong reprisals to Lai's inauguration speech, in which he vowed to continue to build up Taiwan's defence capabilities.

"In face of the many threats and attempts of infiltration from China, we must demonstrate our resolution to defend our nation," said Lai, 64.

Bd-pratidin English/Tanvir Raihan

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