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China's military drills hurt cross-strait stability: Presidential Office

05/25/2024 07:17 PM
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A Navy personnel onboard the Pan Chao frigate monitors Chinese military vessel, the Shaoxing. Photo courtesy of Ministry of National Defense May 23, 2024
A Navy personnel onboard the Pan Chao frigate monitors Chinese military vessel, the Shaoxing. Photo courtesy of Ministry of National Defense May 23, 2024

Taipei, May 25 (CNA) Taiwan's Presidential Office said Saturday that China's recent large-scale military exercises around Taiwan were "provocative" and destabilizing actions, not just regionally but also internationally.

The exercises, held Thursday and Friday, were a unilateral military move by China that destabilized peace and stability of the status quo across the Taiwan Strait and challenged the international order, Presidential Office spokesperson Kuo Ya-hui (郭雅慧) said in a statement.

Those actions by China have drawn serious concerns and condemnation in the international community, Kuo said.

The Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) on Thursday launched a two-day series of joint military drills in the areas surrounding Taiwan, three days after the inauguration of Taiwan's new President Lai Ching-te (賴清德).

The military exercises, dubbed "Joint Sword-2024A," were conducted in the Taiwan Strait, and north, south and east of the main Taiwan island, as well as in areas around the islands of Kinmen, Matsu, Wuqiu and Dongyin, according to China's state-run Xinhua News Agency.

In Kuo's press statement on Saturday, she said that maintaining stability in the Indo-Pacific region and the Taiwan Strait is in the interests of the international community and is also a global consensus.

The president and his national security team had been closely monitoring the situation and devising appropriate responses to safeguard national security, Kuo added.

Lai said in his inauguration speech that "if the leader of a country puts the people's welfare above all, then peace in the Taiwan Strait, mutual benefits, and prosperous coexistence would be common goals."

He also urged China to stop its military actions against Taiwan and to take joint responsibility to maintain peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait and surrounding areas.

On Thursday, Taiwan's Ministry of National Defense also said that China was engaging in "irrational provocation."

Photo courtesy of Coast Guard Administration
Photo courtesy of Coast Guard Administration

The two-day military exercises focused on joint sea-air combat-readiness patrol, joint seizure of comprehensive battlefield control, and joint precision strikes on key targets, according to Xinhua, which cited Li Xi (李熹), spokesperson for the PLA's Eastern Theater Command.

It was the third time in recent years that China staged large-scale military exercises around Taiwan, following its unprecedented drills in August 2022, after then United States House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited Taiwan, and another round in April 2023, after Taiwan's then President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) met with then U.S. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy during a transit stop in the U.S.

According to an article published by the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), the Joint Sword-2024A exercises were China's response to what it deemed as unacceptable statements by Lai during his inauguration speech on May 20.

Beijing has an intent to make large-scale military drills around the island a regular move to show its displeasure and punish Taiwan and the U.S., American experts were cited as saying in the article published Friday.

(By Wen Kuei-hsiang, Joseph Yeh and Frances Huang)


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