Live-fire drill off China’s southeast coast irks Taiwan

Live-fire drill off China’s southeast coast irks Taiwan

Beijing: China held live-fire exercises off its southeast coast, state media reported on Thursday, in an apparent warning to the democratic, self-ruled island of Taiwan against what Beijing deems as provocative remarks on independence.
Taiwan condemned the exercises, saying “it will absolutely not yield to military threats or inducements.”
China’s official Xinhua news agency said an air unit of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) ground forces held the exercise on Wednesday.
The PLA said the exercise involved the co-ordination of various types of armed helicopters that detected targets on the water and attacked them.
Drills in response to Taiwan’s ‘provocations’
Chinese state media said the drills were a direct response to “provocations” by Taiwan leaders related to what China fears are moves to push for the self-ruled island’s formal independence.
China claims Taiwan as its own and considers it a breakaway province.
China’s hostility towards Taiwan has grown since Tsai Ing-wen from the pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party won a presidential election on the island in 2016.
China fears she wants to push for independence. Tsai says she is committed to peace and maintaining the status quo across the Taiwan Strait, but will defend Taiwan’s security.
It was unclear if Wednesday’s exercise referred to earlier drills announced by China that were to take place in the Taiwan Strait in between two groups of islands close to China’s coast but which have been under Taiwan’s control since 1949 when defeated Nationalist forces fled to the island at the end of the Chinese civil war.
Taiwan says it won’t yield to threats
Taiwan’s government on Thursday said such Chinese military drills aimed to intimidate the island and were a threat to regional peace and stability.
China attempts to “pressure and harass Taiwan and seek to raise tensions between the sides and in the region,” the cabinet-level Mainland Affairs Council said in a statement on its website.
“Taiwan’s people are very clear about this and will not accept it. We are determined in our defence of our nation’s sovereignty and dignity and will absolutely not yield to military threats or inducements,” the statement said.