In spite of its initial announcement that Chinese manoeuvres around Taiwan would end on Sunday, the People’s Liberation Army continued their large-scale sea and air drills on Monday.
China’s state television reported that the exercises were focussing on “anti-submarine and sea assault operations.”
In announcing the manoeuvres to the north, south-west, and east of self-ruled island last Tuesday, China had originally promised their conclusion on Sunday.
So far, however, no formal end has been announced.
In fact, some commentators on Chinese media said that the military exercises could become a new normal.
Defence Ministry spokesman Wu Qian on Monday said the drills were a “necessary warning” to the United States and Taiwan, describing them as an “entirely reasonable and appropriate” response to their recent “provocations.”
Wu said the tensions were “deliberately” stoked by Washington, with U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi travelling to Taipei last week in the face of fierce opposition from Beijing.
The Chinese leadership rejects official contacts by other countries with Taipei because it regards the island as part of the mainland.
Taiwan, on the other hand, has long seen itself as independent.
Over the past several days the Chinese military practised not only a naval and air blockade, but also amphibious landing capabilities to launch beach assaults on Taiwan, according to Chinese media. (dpa/NAN)