China says it has completed three-day military drills around Taiwan

A Chinese military helicopter flies over Pingtan island, the closest point to Taiwan, in China's southeast Fujian province on April 7, 2023.
A Chinese military helicopter flies over Pingtan island, the closest point to Taiwan, in China's southeast Fujian province on April 7, 2023. Copyright GREG BAKER/AFP or licensors
Copyright GREG BAKER/AFP or licensors
By Euronews with AP & AFP
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China announced it had "successfully" finished three-day military drills on Monday.

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Peace in the Taiwan Strait and the island's independence are incompatible, the Beijing government warned on Monday. 

Later in the day, China announced it had "successfully" completed three-day military drills focused on "patrolling and combat readiness" around Taiwan Island, according to a note from spokesman Shi Yi. 

The fiery rhetoric comes on the third day of military exercises in this area, amid rising tensions between China and the US. 

"Taiwan independence and peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait are mutually exclusive," Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said during a regular briefing. 

"If we want to safeguard peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait, we must firmly oppose any form of separatism for Taiwanese independence," he added.

The show of force from China comes after Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen met with US House Speaker McCarthy last week in Simi Valley, California.

Washington has pledged to defend Taiwan in the event of a Chinese invasion. 

On Monday, China blasted "intrusion" by the US in ​​the South China Sea, after the USS Milius conducted a "freedom of navigation operation" in the contested waterway.

"The guided-missile destroyer USS Milius conducted an illegal intrusion into the waters adjacent to the Meiji Reef in China's Nansha Islands, without the approval of the Chinese government," said Tian Junli, spokesperson for the Chinese military. 

He added that the Beijing air force "followed and carried out surveillance of the vessel".

Over the weekend, China carried out simulated attacks on targets in Taiwan. 

Warships and fighter jets were involved in the simulated drills dubbed 'joint Sword' which were launched on Saturday and supervised by the Eastern Theatre Command of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA).

Meanwhile, Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defence said that China had crossed the median line of the Taiwan Strait.

“70 PLA aircraft and 11 vessels were detected by 4 pm local time on April 9th. 35 of the detected aircraft had crossed the northern, central, and southern median line of the Taiwan Strait and entered our southwest ADIZ,” the Ministry of National Defence said.

Dozens of servicemen proved their capabilities and their equipment’s readiness as the military vehicles went on the road. 

Taipei said China's actions "not only undermine peace and stability but also have a negative impact on regional security."

Taiwan split with China after a civil war in 1949 but Beijing's ruling Communist Party maintains the island must rejoin the mainland, by force if necessary.

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