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US responds to China's large-scale military exercises near Taiwan

US responds to China's large-scale military exercises near Taiwan Washington condemns China's military exercises around Taiwan (photo: Getty Images)

The US State Department has accused China of military provocations due to its large-scale military exercises in the South China Sea around Taiwan following President Lai Ching-te’s inauguration, according to Bloomberg.

According to the Ministry of National Defense of Taiwan, over the past two days, 111 Chinese aircraft and dozens of naval vessels have surrounded the island.

State Department spokesman Matthew Miller noted that the US is deeply concerned about these events.

"We strongly urge Beijing to act with restraint. Using a normal, routine, and democratic transition as an excuse for military provocations risks escalation and erodes longstanding norms that for decades have maintained peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait," he said in a statement on Saturday.

Beijing has expressed dissatisfaction with the new government in Taipei, accusing Lai of seeking independence and destabilizing the region. Chinese exercises have been the most extensive around Taiwan in the past year.

State broadcaster CCTV reported on Saturday that the Chinese army had completed all missions aimed at Taiwan.

"The drills started a new era of normalized practices. The PLA will stake a step forward each time the Taiwanese separatists make a provocative act," said Zhang Chi, associate professor of the China People’s Liberation Army National Defense University, in an interview with CCTV.

Chinese news agency Xinhua, citing a military representative, reported that the goal of the exercises was to serve as a stern warning to forces advocating Taiwan independence.

Meanwhile, the Pentagon remains confident in the current positioning of US forces and operations in the Indo-Pacific region and has expressed concern about Chinese exercises.

China's military exercises near Taiwan

From May 23 to 25, China conducted a two-day exercise, Joint Sword - 2024A, in the Taiwan Strait. During the maneuvers, the Chinese military simulated attacks with bombers and practiced landing on ships.

Beijing began the exercises three days after Lai Ching-te was inaugurated as President of Taiwan, whom China calls a separatist.

In response, Taiwan scrambled aircraft and increased military readiness.

For more information on China's exercises and why it surrounded Taiwan from the sea, read the article by RBC-Ukraine.