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China launches military maneuvers, ‘punishment for Taiwan separatists’

China flag. (Unsplash)

Three days after the inauguration of the new president of Taiwan, Lai Ching-te, China announced the start of extensive military maneuvers around the island that further escalate tension in the region. “This is a severe punishment for the separatist forces for Taiwan’s independence and a serious warning against interferences and provocations by external forces,” said Chinese Navy Colonel Li Xi.

The military maneuvers, which will involve the army, navy, and air force, will take place today and tomorrow in the Taiwan Strait, which separates the island and China and is about 130 kilometers wide at its narrowest point. These are likely the largest exercises in the past year.

According to Beijing, the Chinese armed forces intend to train joint combat readiness at sea and in the skies, and the attack against key targets. Ships and aircraft will approach Taiwan from the north and south for “patrols” and also to other islands like Kinmen, controlled by the Taipei authorities and located just a few kilometers from the southeastern Chinese city of Xiamen.

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