China is holding military exercises in waters near Taiwan, days after Beijing reiterated it does not rule out military action against secessionist moves in the self-ruled island.
The China Maritime Safety administration said war games would come to an end in East China Sea on Thursday and South China Sea on Friday.
The agency did not clarify where the drills would be held, but issued notices on Sunday and Monday, warning against entering broad swaths of airspace and waters off the coast of eastern Zhejiang and southern Guangdong provinces due to “military activity.”
Details on the scale of the exercises or which military units were involved were not provided either.
Taiwan’s defense ministry said in a statement that it has been closely monitoring the situation in the strait to ensure safety and regional stability.
“The national army continues to reinforce its key defense capacity and is definitely confident and capable of defending the nation’s security,” it added.
China has sovereignty over the island and almost all world countries recognize that sovereignty under the policy known as One China.
The drills are being held just days after a US guided-missile cruiser sailed through the strategic Taiwan Strait, which separates the island from China.
PressTV-US Navy warship ‘passes through Taiwan Strait’The US Navy says one of its warships has sailed through the Taiwan Strait, which separates Taiwan from China, a provocative move likely to anger Beijing.
The Chinese defense ministry issued a warning on the same day, warning that any move toward Taiwan’s secession could lead to war.
The ministry spokesman Wu Qian said in a news conference that “seeking Taiwan independence is a dead end.”
The island held its own annual military drill back in May, vowing to defend itself against what it describes as China’s “growing threat.”
China has constantly warned the US over its relations with Taiwan. The US, too, recognizes Chinese sovereignty over the island, but it has long courted Taipei in an attempt to counter Beijing.
PressTV-China: US undermining global stability with unilateralismChina says the United States is undermining global strategic stability by adopting unilateral policies against major countries in the world.
Since US President Donald Trump took office in January 2017, his administration has opened a new de facto embassy in Taipei and passed a law to encourage senior US officials to travel to Taiwan to meet their counterparts.
On Saturday, China dispatched its fifth-generation J-20 stealth to the country’s Eastern Theater Command, which encompasses Taiwan.
China warns West against stirring unrest in Hong Kong
In a related development, China warned the West against stirring unrest in Hong Kong through making “irresponsible remarks” and encouraging protests.
Spokesman for the Cabinet’s Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office Yang Guang said on Monday that attempt by some “irresponsible figures” in the West to stoke turbulence in Hong Kong and contain China’s development will fail.
Hong Kong has been the scene of violent protests for weeks over an extradition bill that the government has essentially backed away from.
The city, a former British colony, was returned to China in 1997. Under the “one country, two systems” system, it has a level of autonomy, including a separate and independent legal system.
Beijing has already warned against foreign interference as well as violence by the protesters.