Taiwan and China held parallel military exercises amid rising tensions over Chinese claims that the self-ruled island belongs to them.
Taiwan was carrying out its war exercises off the southeastern county of Hualien, after several days in which China has launched missiles and entered Taiwanese air and sea space.
“We emphatically condemn the military provocations of Communist China in the sea and air of Taiwanwhich undermine regional peace,” Taiwan Defense Ministry spokesman Sun Li-fang told reporters at Hualien Air Base.
“Communist China’s military operations simply give us an opportunity to better train ourselves to be combat-ready,” he added.
Taiwanese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Joanne Ou said China is using recent visits to Taiwan by US lawmakers as a pretext to intimidate Taiwan into accepting its terms for “peaceful reunification.”
“China launched its military provocations on that basis. This is absurd and a barbaric act, undermines regional stability and interferes with shipping and trade activities in the Indo-Pacific region”, declared Ou.
China considers Taiwan a province of its own and reserves the right to annex it, by force if necessary. He considers that any visit by foreign dignitaries to the island is an implicit recognition of his sovereignty by other nations.
Aside from its military threats, China imposed visa bans and other sanctions on Taiwanese politicians on Tuesday. China has no legal authority over Taiwan and it is not clear what effect such sanctions would have.
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