Taiwan calls China's military drills a 'blatant provocation' to world order

Agence France-Presse
Taiwan calls China's military drills a 'blatant provocation' to world order
Taiwanese air force Mirage 2000 fighter jets wait for take off at a base in Hsinchu in northern Taiwan on May 23, 2024. China on May 23 encircled Taiwan with naval vessels and military aircraft in war games aimed at punishing the self-ruled island after its new president vowed to defend democracy.
AFP / Yasuyoshi Chiba

TAIPEI, Taiwan — China's two-day military drills around Taiwan were a "blatant provocation to the international order", Taipei said in a statement Saturday after the war games encircling the self-ruled island ended.

The drills were launched three days after Taiwan's President Lai Ching-te took office and made an inauguration speech that China denounced as a "confession of independence".

China, which claims Taiwan as part of its territory, regards Lai as a "dangerous separatist".

By Friday evening, a presenter for state-run military news channel CCTV-7 said the Chinese army had "successfully completed" the operation dubbed "Joint Sword-2024A".

In a statement, Lai's presidential spokesperson Karen Kuo reiterated that ensuring peace and stability across the region was "related to the common interests of the international community".

"However, China's recent unilateral provocation not only undermines the status quo of peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait but it is also a blatant provocation to the international order, triggering serious concern and condemnation from the international community," she said.

Kuo added that Taiwan hopes "China will take the safety and happiness of the people on both sides into consideration, pursue mutual benefit, coexistence... stop all kinds of political and military intimidations on Taiwan and the region".

Self-ruled Taiwan has its own democratically elected government, military and currency, but Beijing has said it would never renounce the potential use of force to bring the island under its control.

Chinese military analysts told state news agency Xinhua that the People's Liberation Army vessels had inched "closer than ever before" to Taiwan's shores during the two-day military drills.

The exercises involved simulating strikes targeting the island's leaders as well as its ports and airports, they said.

In regards to China's various military actions, Kuo said that "the president and the national security team have a full grasp of the situation" and called for the public to "rest assured".

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