ua en ru

China started military exercises around Taiwan

China started military exercises around Taiwan China has started military exercises near Taiwan (photo: Getty Images)

China has launched two days of punitive military exercises around Taiwan on Thursday, May 23, according to Reuters.

According to China, military actions involving the army, navy, air force, and missile forces in areas around Taiwan began at 7:45 local time. They are being conducted in the Taiwan Strait, to the north, south, and east of Taiwan, as well as in areas around the Taiwan-controlled islands of Kinmen, Matsu, Wuqiu, and Dongyin.

"This is also a strong punishment for the separatist acts of Taiwan independence forces and a stern warning against the interference and provocation by external forces," Chinese officials said.

China announced the military exercises three days after Lai Ching-te took office as the new president of Taiwan.

Presidential election in Taiwan

In January of this year, Taiwan held its eighth presidential election. The winner, with 40.05% of the vote, was Lai Ching-te. He is a supporter of Taiwan's independence and closer ties with the US.

On May 20, his inauguration took place, during which he wished for China to stop military threats and intimidation of the Taiwanese people. At the same time, China stated that it considers Taiwan its territory, and Lai Ching-te was labelled a separatist. China imposed sanctions on three American defense companies for selling weapons to Taiwan.