Sep 18, 2020 08:39 UTC
  • China kicks off another military drill as US envoy visits Taiwan

China has launched military drills near the Taiwan Strait as a senior US official is visiting the self-ruled island in Washington's latest move to bolster its support of the island in defiance of Beijing.

Chinese Defense Ministry spokesman Ren Guoqiang announced on Friday that war games are taking place near the Taiwan Strait.

“They are a reasonable, necessary action aimed at the current situation in the Taiwan Strait and protecting national sovereignty and territorial integrity,” Ren said.

“Recently the United States and Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) authorities have stepped up their collusion, frequently creating disturbances,” he said, referring to Taiwan’s ruling party.

Ren also warned that trying to “use Taiwan to control China” or “rely on foreigners to build oneself up” is wishful thinking and doomed to be a dead end.

“Those who play with fire will get burnt,” he added.

The Chinese spokesperson gave no further details about the military exercises, but the Taiwanese defense ministry said on Thursday that China was sending two anti-submarine aircraft into the island’s air defense identification zone.

China has sovereignty over Taiwan; and under the “One China” policy, almost all world countries — including the United States — recognize that sovereignty.

China has repeatedly warned Washington against ties with Taiwan.

Washington has also stepped up military support for Taiwan in recent years through increased arms sales.

It is now pushing the sale of seven large packages of weapons to the island.

The new proposal includes missiles that would allow Taiwanese jets to hit Chinese targets, according to US officials familiar with the proposal.

If approved by Congress, it would be one of the largest weapons transfers in recent years to Taiwan.

China has repeatedly called on Washington to stop these provocative actions, which undermine peace and stability in the sea.