The Chinese People’s Liberation Army had carried out extensive exercises after the provocative visit of the Speaker of the US House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi to Taiwan, which according to international law belongs to China. Now Beijing has announced an end to the exercises.
China has announced an end to extensive military drills around Taiwan, which the Chinese military began after US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s controversial visit to Taipei.
The People’s Liberation Army said Wednesday it had “successfully completed various missions during the recent drills around the island of Taiwan and effectively tested the troops’ ability for joint operations,” as the Global Times reported.
China will continue “military training and preparation” and organize patrols in the Taiwan Strait to “firmly defend national sovereignty and territorial integrity,” said East Theater Command spokesman Colonel Shi Yi.
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The announcement comes shortly after the release of a white paper in which Beijing does not rule out the use of force in its efforts to unify Taiwan with the mainland, but stresses that it aims for peaceful unification. The document says:
“We will work with the utmost sincerity and make our best efforts to achieve peaceful reunification. But we will not renounce the use of force and reserve the opportunity to take any measures necessary.”
Noting that the state of emergency was necessary to prevent “external interference and separatist activities,” Beijing accused “anti-Chinese forces in the US” of intentionally escalating tensions between China and Taiwan.
Last week, Pelosi paid a controversial visit to the island despite multiple protests from the Chinese government. In response, Beijing launched “unprecedented” military exercises and target practice in six sea areas around Taiwan.
The maneuvers included simulating a “blockade” of the island, as well as amphibious assaults and attacking ground targets, the Chinese Defense Ministry said.
As part of the One China Policy, China regards Taiwan as a Chinese province. This is also the prevailing view of international law. The USA also officially acknowledged this principle in the 1970s – as did the Taiwanese leadership itself in the early 1990s. However, there are differences regarding the precise interpretation of the principle.
Taiwan was part of the Chinese Empire for centuries. After defeat in the Chinese Civil War, the nationalists under Chiang Kai-shek withdrew to the archipelago in 1949, where they claimed to continue the old “Republic of China” against the communists on the mainland. However, the current Taiwanese ruling party, the DPP, believes that Taiwan has now become a completely new state.
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