China launched large military exercises around Taiwan, calling it a warning against separatists

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Chinese armed forces and the nation’s coast guard launched a massive two-day military exercise surrounding Taiwan and its outlying islands in the Pacific Ocean on 23 May.

The government claimed the exercise is a warning against separatist elements in Taiwan and their international backers.

The exercises were launched as a response to newly sworn-in President Lai Ching-te’s claims of Taiwan’s independence.

Ching-te was elected as President of Taiwan in January 2024 and he took the oath of office on 20 May 20. During his inaugural speech, he claimed Taiwan (officially the Republic of China) is an “independent and sovereign” nation and denied it being part of China.

The military drill, “Joint Sword-2024A”, started early on 23 May and concluded on 24 May. It was one of the largest such exercises in recent history, involving all segments of Chinese armed forces, army, navy, air force and rocket forces along with the Chinese coast guard, Chinese military spokesperson Colonel Li Xi said on 23 May.

The military exercise was carried out under China’s Eastern Theatre Command. It involved all the latest weapons, including J-20 stealth fighter jets and advanced maritime warfare technology.

According to the Chinese military, the vessels participating in the drill also ventured inside what the Taiwanese administration called “restricted waters”, which China maintains is Chinese territory.

As per China’s People’s Liberation Army, the objective of the exercise is to “punish” separatist elements as part of the “Taiwan independence” movement and to send a warning to its international backers. – Peoples Dispatch/Globetrotter News Service

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