Taiwan condemns Chinese military drills as provocative, destabilizing

Military planes were seen taking off and landing from an airbase in Hsinchu, Taiwan, on Thursday following joint military drills initiated by China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) around Taiwan.

China commenced these “punishment” drills in reaction to what it described as “separatist acts,” deploying heavily armed warplanes and conducting mock attacks. State media criticized newly inaugurated President Lai Ching-te during the operations.

A spokesperson from Taiwan’s defense ministry labeled the PLA’s exercise an “irrational provocation” that has “jeopardized regional peace and stability.”

The drills in the Taiwan Strait and near Taiwan-controlled islands off the Chinese coast occurred just three days after Lai assumed office. Beijing views Lai as a “separatist.”

China, which claims democratically governed Taiwan as its own territory, condemned Lai’s inauguration speech on Monday. In his speech, Lai urged China to cease its threats and asserted that the two sides of the strait were “not subordinate to each other.”