China says military drills finished, but war prep continues

China officially announced an end to its war games around Taiwan on Wednesday, but said its military would continue with further “training and war preparation.”
Beijing’s military exercises were successfully finished and “effectively tested the integrated joint combat capabilities of the troops,” a People Liberation Army’s Eastern Theater Command spokesperson said, according to The Guardian.
China also vowed to continue to monitor and regularly patrol the Taiwan Strait and remain prepared for a fight.
Beijing began live fire drills last week in retaliation to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) high-profile trip showing solidarity with Taiwan.
The exercises, which began Thursday, were meant to end on Sunday but were extended unexpectedly. They marked Beijing’s largest ever war games in the Taiwan Strait and included a dozen missile exercises in the waters surrounding Taiwan as well as increased naval and air activities in the waterway.
China views Taiwan as its own territory under its “One China” principle and has refused to rule out attempting to bring Taipei under its control using force.
Taiwan, meanwhile, accused China of using the drills as a rehearsal for an invasion.
Shortly before Wednesday’s announcement that the exercises had ended, China reaffirmed that it would use forceagainst Taiwan should the mainland not take control of the independently governed island “by peaceful means,” according to a major policy paper on China-Taiwan relations.
“We will work with the greatest sincerity and exert our utmost efforts to achieve peaceful reunification,” according to the English-language version of the document. “But we will not renounce the use of force, and we reserve the option of taking all necessary measures.”
It adds that such force would be a “last resort taken under compelling circumstances.”
The document also pulls back on a promise given in 1993 and again in 2000 to not to send troops or administrative personnel to the island if Beijing took control.
Though the United States does not have formal diplomatic ties with Taiwan, such a move from China would be significant for Washington as it is legally bound to come to the island’s aid in defending itself under the Taiwan Relations Act.

Related: China winds down Taiwan military drills, but vows to keep up patrols

​China declared Wednesday it would “not renounce the use of force” in its effort to annex ​Taiwan as Beijing’s military began winding down war games around ​​the self-ruled island that began after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s controversial visit last week​.
China’s Taiwan Affairs Office said Wednesday that it would “work with the greatest sincerity and exert our utmost efforts to achieve peaceful reunification.”
“But we will not renounce the use of force, and we reserve the option of taking all necessary measures,” it added. “This is to guard against external interference and all separatist activities … Our ultimate goal is to ensure the prospects of China’s peaceful reunification and advance this process.”
Angered by Pelosi’s Aug. 2 visit to Taiwan, China conducted days of drills that included ballistic missile launches that came perilously close to the capital of Taipei, and simulated air and sea attacks that crossed into Taiwanese territory.


By: Miss Cherry May Timbol – Independent Reporter

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