China says further steps ready to target Taiwan independence

  • China says further steps ready to target Taiwan independence

China says further steps ready to target Taiwan independence

Over the past year or so, China has ramped up military drills around democratic Taiwan, including flying bombers and other military aircraft around the island.

As part of China's military modernization, its new aircraft carrier could soon begin sea trials, according to images on Chinese news portals this week of the vessel leaving its dock in the northern city of Dalian.

Amid the growing tension with China, Taiwan's defense ministry said on Tuesday it will simulate repelling an invading force, emergency repairs of a major air base and using civilian-operated drones as part of military exercises starting next week.

"The B-52Hs conducted training and then transited to the vicinity of Okinawa to conduct training with USAF F-15C Strike Eagles, before returning to Guam", it said.

Despite China's provocations over Taiwan, US officials have insisted they will not "take the bait".

But China has responded forcefully, saying it has "endless means" to deal with Taiwan.

Thomas Harvey III, the acting assistant secretary of defense for strategy, plans, and capabilities, told South China Morning Post that United States bombers had been deployed to assure USA allies in the region. "We will obviously do what we can to obviously avoid that".

Chinese defense ministry spokesperson Wu Qian confirmed during a press conference on Thursday that the DF-26 had joined the combat sequence of the PLA rocket force after tests, adding that the deployment aimed to beef up deterrence against anyone seeking to split Taiwan from China. China considers the self-ruled island of Taiwan to be its territory.

Ties have also been roiled by U.S. plans to provide Taiwan with submarine manufacturing technology, a proposed arms sale and the appointment of hawkish U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton.

The widely read Chinese state-run tabloid the Global Times said in an editorial on Friday if the USA bombers were meant to send a message to Beijing about Taiwan it would not work.

In a separate announcement, China's air force said that its aircraft had again flown around Taiwan, the latest in a series of exercises Taiwan has described as military intimidation.

"We have the firm will, complete confidence and sufficient capability to frustrate any types of Taiwan independence schemes or actions and protect national sovereignty and territorial integrity", Ma said.

Beijing has stepped up military patrols around Taiwan and used diplomatic pressure to isolate it internationally since President Tsai Ing-wen, of the traditionally pro-independence, took office in 2016.