China conducts military drills in Taiwanese waters, airspace

TEHRAN, Jan. 09 (MNA) – China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) held military exercises on Sunday in Taiwanese waters and airspace in order to test the combat effectiveness of Chinese troops.

"On January 8, the PLA Eastern Theater Command organized joint combat patrols of various types and branches of troops and practical military exercises in the sea and airspace around the island of Taiwan," Shi Yi, spokesperson for the PLA Eastern Theater Command said in a statement, posted on WeChat.

The purpose of the drills was to check the joint combat capabilities of the troops and resolutely counter the provocative actions of external and separatist forces advocating for Taiwan's independence, the statement read, Sputnik reported.

The situation around Taiwan escalated after US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited the island in early August. Beijing condemned Pelosi's trip, which it regarded as a gesture of support for separatism, and launched large-scale military exercises in the vicinity of the island. Despite this fact, several countries, including France, the US, Japan and others, have sent their delegations to the island since then, further increasing tensions in the Taiwan Strait.

Taiwan has been governed independently from mainland China since 1949. Beijing views the island as its province. Beijing opposes any official contacts of foreign states with Taipei and considers Chinese sovereignty over the island indisputable.

MNA/PR

News Code 195904

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