In the vast expanse of the Pacific, Australia finds itself at a crossroads, grappling with a shifting geopolitical landscape that demands a recalibration of its approach.
China launched joint air and sea patrols and military exercises around Taiwan on Saturday which Beijing has termed as a “stern warning” to “Taiwan independence” separatists against colluding with foreign elements, Xinhua News Agency reported.
This exercise came as an angry response to Taiwan Vice President William Lai’s recent “stopover” in the US.
Xinhua cited Shi Yi, a spokesperson for the Eastern Theater Command of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army as saying that the patrols and exercises are meant to train the coordination of military vessels and aeroplanes and their ability to seize control of air and sea spaces.
The armed forces’ ability to fight in real combat conditions will be tested, Shi said, adding that the patrols and exercises serve as a stern warning to the collusion of “Taiwan independence” separatists with foreign elements and their provocations, as per China’s state media.
Taiwan’s Defence Ministry in a statement condemned China’s latest military drills near the island and called it “irrational provocative behaviour.”
The ministry also said that it will dispatch appropriate troops to respond in accordance with the “Regulations on the Handling of Emergencies during the Period of Regular Combat Readiness of the National Army” to defend freedom, democracy, and the sovereignty of the Republic of China with practical actions.
Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense pointed out that in recent years, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has continued to send aircraft and ships to harass and harass, which has caused substantial damage to regional security.
“Launching a military exercise under pretext this time not only does not help the peace and stability of the Taiwan Strait but also highlights its militaristic mentality and confirms the hegemonic nature of military expansion,” the statement read.
“The Ministry of National Defence emphasized that in the face of repeated advances by the Communist army, all officers and soldiers of the national army are ready to fight, uphold the strong will of “preparing for war, not seeking war, responding to war, not avoiding war”, and have the ability, determination, and confidence to ensure national security,” it read.
Taiwan called on the people of the country to play a solid backing and build a consensus of unity when the situation on both sides of the strait is severe. The military and civilians work together to build a key force for defence operations and jointly protect the beautiful homeland.
Earlier, when Lai visited the US, at that time also China condemned the trip and vowed to take “strong measures”.
In a statement issued by the country’s Foreign Ministry after Lai’s stopover at the US, China said, “China firmly opposes any form of official interaction between the US and the Taiwan region. We firmly oppose any visit by ‘Taiwan independence’ separatists to the US in any name or under whatever pretext, and we firmly oppose the US government having any form of official contact with the Taiwan region. China deplores and strongly condemns the US decision to arrange the so-called ‘stopover’ for Lai Ching-te.”
“We urge the US to abide by the one-China principle and the three China-US joint communiqués, deliver on its commitment of not supporting ‘Taiwan independence’ or ‘two Chinas’ or ‘one China, one Taiwan’, stop all forms of official interaction with Taiwan, stop conniving at and supporting ‘Taiwan independence’ separatist forces and their separatist activities and stop fudging and hollowing out the one-China principle. China is closely following the developments of the situation and will take resolute and strong measures to safeguard its sovereignty and territorial integrity,” it added.