BEIJING: Chinese fighter planes and warships conducted a second day of military drills on Sunday in reaction to Taiwan’s president visiting the speaker of the US House of Representatives, simulating strikes on Taiwan as they surrounded the island.
Washington said it was “closely monitoring Beijing’s actions” and called for restraint in response to the exercises, which were denounced by Taipei.
The People’s Liberation Army’s (PLA) Eastern Theatre Command announced that “Joint Sword,” a three-day exercise that includes practicing an encirclement of Taiwan, will continue through Monday.
The army announced the war games, which were designed to show off Beijing’s military might to Taiwan and the rest of the world, and sent planes, ships, and personnel into “the maritime areas and air space of the Taiwan Strait, off the northern and southern coasts of the island, and to the island’s east.”
The drills “simulated joint precision strikes against major targets on Taiwan island and adjacent waters,” according to a report from state broadcaster CCTV on Sunday. The report also stated that forces “continued to maintain the scenario of closely encircling the island.”
The article continued by stating that ground forces had practiced “multi-target precision strikes” and that the air force had sent out dozens of aircraft to “fly into the target airspace.”
The drills, which were announced just after Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen met US House Speaker Kevin McCarthy in California, were promptly criticized by Tsai.
In response to “continuing authoritarian expansionism,” she vowed to cooperate with “the US and other like-minded nations”.
The United States has “consistently advocated moderation and no change to the status quo,” according to a State Department official in Washington, who also underlined that the country has the resources to fulfill its security obligations in Asia.