A military spokesman said Wednesday that China had recently conducted multiple military exercises with Taiwan to demonstrate the United States’ commitment to the self-governing island.
The Chinese People’s Liberation Army’s Eastern Theater Command has conducted warfare exercises and other training activities at sea and in the air around Taiwan, said Col. Shi Yi, a spokesman for the military command.
He said the exercise was a “Serious Warning” Directed to the United States on the issue of Taiwan’s proposed independence. Chinese troops “Determined and capable of thwarting the intervention of external forces and attempts at separatism” In Taiwan, officials added.
The island was the last stronghold of nationalist forces during the Chinese Civil War, and had its own government that has not responded to Beijing since. The Chinese government considers Taiwan to be under its sovereignty.
The United States supported the island’s autonomy but took a “strategic ambiguity” position as part of its relationship with Beijing in the 1970s. For decades, Washington has pledged to help Taiwan defend itself against a fictitious invasion, but has clearly not promised to use its own military to do so.
President Joe Biden was seen moving away from the position during a news conference in Tokyo on Monday, when he said the United States would use force to protect Taiwan, a journalist asked. As he has made recent statements on various issues, his administration has retracted the president’s remarks, saying the United States still maintains strategic ambiguity about Taiwan.
Beijing has criticized the statement, citing it as another example of US intervention. Over the years, Washington has increased its support for Taiwan by selling advanced weapons to its military, seeing the signing of the agreement as a form of recognition by China, as well as other measures.
US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was reportedly scheduled to pay an official visit to Taiwan in April, but the plan was scrapped after she tested positive for the Covid-19.
Both Washington and Beijing conduct regular military missions to Taiwan.
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