China ends its military maneuvers around Taiwan and Al Jazeera describes it as a “flagrant provocation.” China ends its military maneuvers around Taiwan and Al Jazeera describes it as a “flagrant provocation.”

China ends its military maneuvers around Taiwan and Al Jazeera describes it as a “flagrant provocation.”

China ends its military maneuvers around Taiwan and Al Jazeera describes it as a “flagrant provocation.”
China has ended its two-day comprehensive military exercises around Taiwan, after declaring that these exercises are "punishment" for "separatist acts" and aim to test its army's ability to seize power on the island, according to state media.

CCTV7, China's official television channel responsible for military news, said that the Chinese army successfully completed the "Common Sword-2024A" exercises.

The maneuvers took place three days after Lai Ching-ti, whom China describes as a "dangerous separatist," was sworn in as the new president of the autonomous island.

Beijing explained that the maneuvers involved land, naval and air forces, in addition to the strategic missile unit.

For its part, Taiwan considered that the maneuvers were a "blatant provocation to the world order."

Presidential spokeswoman Karen Kuo said in a statement on Saturday, "China's recent unilateral provocation not only undermines the status quo of peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait, but is also a blatant provocation of the world order, arousing serious fear and condemnation from the international community."

In Thursday's statements, the new Taiwanese president did not directly refer to the maneuvers, but stressed that he would stand "on the front line" to defend his country.

“I will stand on the front line with my brothers and sisters in the army to defend national security together,” Lai Ching-ti said at a military base, stressing that his country “will defend the values ​​of freedom and democracy in the face of external challenges and threats and will preserve peace and stability in the region.”

China considers Taiwan to be part of its territory that it has not yet succeeded in unifying with the mainland since the end of the civil war and the rise of the Communist Party to power in 1949. While Beijing asserts that it prefers a “peaceful” reunification with the island, which is inhabited by 23 million people and enjoys a democratic system of government, it has not It excludes the use of force if necessary to achieve this goal.

Lai said in his inauguration speech that the "Republic of China" (Taiwan's official name) and the People's Republic of China "are not subordinate to each other."

Beijing saw these phrases as a "recognition of independence" by Taiwan.

On Friday, Chinese Defense Minister Wu Qian said that Lai "seriously challenged the one-China principle and dragged our citizens in Taiwan into a dangerous situation fraught with war and danger."

He added: "Every time (the movement supporting) Taiwan independence provokes us, we will go further in our countermeasures, until the complete reunification of the motherland is achieved."

He continued: "This is playing with fire, and whoever plays with fire will certainly be burned by it."

An upcoming US-Chinese meeting

The maneuvers are part of large-scale military exercises around Taiwan in recent years.

On Thursday, the United States, Taiwan's strongest ally and military backer, "strongly" urged China to exercise restraint. The United Nations called on all parties to avoid escalation.

The Pentagon announced on Friday that US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin will meet his Chinese counterpart Dong Jun next week.

According to the ministry, Austin will meet with Dong Jun on the sidelines of their participation from May 31 to June 2 in the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore, an annual summit of defense officials from around the world.

The meeting between Austin and Dong Jun has been the subject of intense anticipation since their phone conversation in April, which constituted the first exchange between the two countries' defense ministers in about 18 months.

Under Joe Biden, the United States strengthened communication channels with China in an attempt to reduce tension between the two countries.


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