Chinese Ships Continue Their Training Following Exercises

Chinese naval ships allegedly remained in waters around Taiwan on Tuesday, a day after China declared it had finished military exercises in the area. As of Tuesday morning, according to Chinese official media, the ships were still conducting “actual combat training,” according to the Reuters news agency. The military drills, which China announced concluded on Monday, were conducted in response to Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen’s visit to the US last week. Tsai met with Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy of California during her visit. China has forewarned the US administration not to allow Tsai to see or have a meeting with McCarthy. Such gatherings are viewed by China as demonstrating support for Taiwanese politicians and voters.

 

Taiwan is viewed by China as a breakaway territory. According to Chinese officials, the government intends to retake the area eventually and will resort to force if needed. China’s territorial claims are rejected by Taiwan. State television stated that multiple warships “continued to carry out actual combat training in the waters around Taiwan,” despite China’s announcement on Monday night that the drills were over. The exercises were ongoing “to test the combat effectiveness of weapons and equipment as well as the organizational and command capabilities of commanders at all levels,” according to the report.

 

The defense ministry of Taiwan reported late on Tuesday morning that it had seen 26 planes and nine Chinese ships conducting drills around the island. Taiwan’s air force, navy, and land-based missile troops were reportedly closely monitoring the situation, according to the ministry. Although the Taiwanese government has consistently condemned the drills, it has stated that it will not take any further action to intensify them. Shortly before midnight on Monday, Tsai defended her trip to the United States in a post on her Facebook page. As president, she declared, “I represent my country to the world.” She went on to say that Taiwanese people were used to seeing her go abroad, including her stopover in the US.

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