New Taiwan military exercises after repeated threats from Beijing

New Taiwan military exercises after repeated threats from Beijing

The new exercises conducted by Taiwan on Thursday have two objectives, to ensure the good condition of the artillery and to confirm the results of previous maneuvers, the island's authorities announced.

Taiwanese military conducted a new live ammunition exercise on Thursday, after Beijing, which continues its threats, ended its largest ever military exercises around the Taiwan. x27;island.

Taiwanese forces fired shells and flares as part of the defense exercise, said Lou Woei-jye, spokesman for the 8th Army Corps.

The maneuvers in Pingtung County (south), started at 0:30 GMT, lasted an hour, he added.

A broadcast live showed artillery pieces lined up on the coast and soldiers, split into units, firing shell after shell out to sea.

Taiwan had already conducted a military exercise on Tuesday in Pingtung.

According to the army, hundreds of men participated in these two sessions.

The authorities downplayed the scope of these exercises, assuring that they were already scheduled and were not a response to those in China.

Beijing erupted after a visit to Taiwan last week by US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi, launching multi-day air and sea exercises around the island. /p>

Taipei has accused China of using Mrs. Pelosi's visit as a pretext to practice an invasion.

Taiwan's new exercises on Thursday have two purposes: to ensure the good condition of the artillery and its proper maintenance and to confirm the results of previous military exercises held in 2021, Lou said.< /p>

Beijing for its part announced the end of its maneuvers on Wednesday, declaring that its forces had carried out various tasks in the Taiwan Strait while promising to continue patrolling its waters.

In the same statement, China said it would continue to conduct military training and prepare for war.

Meanwhile, China's Taiwan Affairs Office said in a white paper on Wednesday that Beijing does not renounce the use of force against its neighbor and reserves the right to take any necessary measures.

We are willing to create a broad space [of cooperation] in order to achieve peaceful reunification, the document said. But we will leave no leeway for separatist actions aimed at the pseudo-independence of Taiwan.

Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in agreement with its top policymaking body on China, has rejected the one country, two systems model that Beijing has proposed for the island.

China's entire statement absolutely flies in the face of the status quo and the reality of the Straits,” Joanne Ou, a spokesperson for the ministry, said at a conference of press.

The phrase one country, two systems refers to the principle that is supposed to provide some autonomy to the Chinese regions of Hong Kong and Macau.

The Taiwan Affairs Office of the Communist Party of China has reacted Thursday in a statement to the Taiwanese exercises by downplaying the rebellious actions of Taipei which cannot stop the historical trend of reunification with mainland China.

In Washington, Ms. Pelosi said Wednesday she was very proud of her visit to Taiwan, assuring that Beijing had used it as a pretext to launch its military exercises. We will not let Beijing isolate Taiwan, she told the press.

Taiwan regularly holds military exercises simulating a Chinese invasion. Last month, she practiced repelling a landing as part of a joint interception operation, in her largest annual exercise.

Since the late 1990s, the island has evolved from authoritarian rule to a vibrant democracy, and a distinct Taiwanese identity has emerged.

Relations between both sides of the strait have deteriorated significantly since Tsai Ing-wen became president of Taiwan in 2016.

Ms. Tsai and her Democratic Progressive Party do not consider Taiwan to be part of China. Their design falls under Beijing's broad definition of Taiwanese separatism, which includes those who argue for the island to have a separate identity from the mainland.

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