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China Launches “Punishment” Drills Around Taiwan After President Lai’s Inauguration

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China Launches Punishment Drills Around Taiwan After President Lai's Inauguration

(CTN News) – China conducted “punishment” drills near Taiwan on Thursday, citing “separatist acts” and denouncing newly inaugurated President Lai Ching-te on official television.

The maneuvers in the Taiwan Strait and surrounding groupings of Taiwan-controlled islands near the Chinese coast occurred just three days after Lai entered office, a man Beijing despises as a “separatist”.The spokesman for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres urged all parties to “refrain from acts that could escalate tensions in the region” in response to China’s military drills around Taiwan.

“On China, I assure you that we are keenly monitoring developments in the Taiwan Strait. Stephane Dujarric added, “We urge the relevant parties to refrain from acts that could escalate regional tensions.” The US “strongly” encouraged China to exercise caution as it conducted military drills surrounding Taiwan following the inauguration of a new president, characterizing Beijing’s actions as “reckless”.

According to a senior US source, Washington “noted with concern” and was “closely monitoring” the drills China claimed were retaliation for Taiwanese President Ching-te’s inauguration speech.

“We strongly urge Beijing to act with restraint,” the Biden administration official said, warning China against using Taiwan’s democratic transition as a “pretext or excuse for provocative or coercive measures.” China’s actions were “reckless, risk escalation, and erode longstanding norms that have maintained regional peace and stability for decades,” according to the official.

The United States recently granted Taiwan billions of dollars in military aid and stated it was “confident in our current force posture” in the region. The Chinese drills followed President Lai’s inaugural speech on Monday, which stated that Taiwan “must demonstrate our resolve to defend our nation.”

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Context and Implications of China-Taiwan Tensions

China, which claims Taiwan as part of its sovereignty, condemned Lai’s speech as a “confession of independence.” President Joe Biden and President Xi Jinping met in California last year to heal relations between the two countries. However, Taiwan continues to be a key source of tension.

A top US general previously stated that the Chinese drills were expected but “concerning”. “We expected something like this, frankly,” US Lieutenant General Stephen Sklenka, the US Indo-Pacific Command deputy commander, told an audience in Canberra. “Just because we expect that behavior does not mean that we should not condemn it — and we need to condemn it publicly,” he stated.


“It is concerning.” Sklenka suggested that nations other than the United States speak out against the drills.

The Chinese People’s Liberation Army’s Eastern Theatre Command (PLA) said at 7:45 a.m. that joint military maneuvers, including the army, navy, air force, and rocket force, had begun in areas surrounding Taiwan.

The drills are taking place in the Taiwan Strait, the north, south, and east of Taiwan, as well as areas near the Taiwan-controlled islands of Kinmen, Matsu, Wuqiu, and Dongyin, according to the command in a statement. This is the first time China’s exercises have included these islands.

Arsi Mughal is a staff writer at CTN News, delivering insightful and engaging content on a wide range of topics. With a knack for clear and concise writing, he crafts articles that resonate with readers. Arsi's pieces are well-researched, informative, and presented in a straightforward manner, making complex subjects accessible to a broad audience. His writing style strikes the perfect balance between professionalism and casual approachability, ensuring an enjoyable reading experience.

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