China confirms having conducted military drills near Taiwan

05/09/2022 02:23 PM
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Beijing, May 9 (CNA) The Chinese military confirmed on Monday it had conducted live-fire drills in waters and airspace off Taiwan's eastern and southwestern coasts from May 6-8 to test and upgrade its joint combat capabilities.

The news was published by the Eastern Theater Command of the People's Liberation Army in a Wechat post.

In recent days, both Taiwan and Japan authorities have observed deployments of Chinese aircraft and ships in waters near Taiwan from a Chinese carrier group consisting of the aircraft carrier Liaoning, five destroyers, a frigate, and a replenishment ship.

Japan's Ministry of Defense first announced on May 2 that the Liaoning and seven escort vessels had left the East China Sea and passed through waters between Japan's Okinawa and Miyako islands before entering the Pacific Ocean.

For five consecutive days from May 3, fighter jets and helicopters based on the Liaoning were spotted taking off from and landing on the aircraft carrier several times, said Japan's Self-Defense Forces, which sent the JS Izumo (DDH-183) helicopter carrier to monitor its movements.

Meanwhile, Taiwan's Ministry of National Defense (MND) posted on its website on Sunday that Chinese Y-8 anti-submarine warfare aircraft had entered the southern and southeastern parts of Taiwan's air defense identification zone (ADIZ) for four days in a row.

On May 6, 18 Chinese military planes flew into the southwestern and southeastern parts of Taiwan's ADIZ, the largest intrusion by Chinese military aircraft so far in May, the MND said.

According to Su Tzu-yun (蘇紫雲), an analyst at Taiwan's government-funded Institute for National Defense and Security Research, the presence of China's Y-8 anti-submarine warfare aircraft in Taiwan's southeastern ADIZ might have been for conducting joint drills with the eight-ship Chinese carrier group led by the Liaoning in waters about 500 kilometers off Taiwan's east coast.

The drills may have also indirectly sent a signal of Beijing's discontent with the "internationalization" of the Taiwan issue, Su said.

(By Flor Wang and Chang Shu-ling)


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