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China says it carried out combat drills around Taiwan again

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Chinese and Taiwanese printed flags are seen in this illustration taken, April 28, 2022. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

China’s military said it had carried out combat drills around Taiwan on Sunday focused on land strikes and sea assaults, the second such exercises in less than a month.

The People’s Liberation Army’s Eastern Theatre Command said in a statement late on Sunday that its forces had organised “joint combat readiness patrols and actual combat drills” in the sea and airspace around Taiwan.

The aim of the exercises was to test joint combat capabilities and “resolutely counter the provocative actions of external forces and Taiwan independence separatist forces”, it added in a brief statement.

There was no immediate response from Taiwan, which the Chinese government views as its own territory.

China carried out similar exercises late last month, with Taiwan reporting that 43 Chinese aircraft crossed the Taiwan Strait’s median line, an unofficial buffer between the two sides.

China, which has never renounced the use of force to bring the island under its control, has been carrying out regular military incursions into the waters and air space near Taiwan over the past three years.

In August, China staged war games near Taiwan following a visit to Taipei by the then-U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Democratically-governed Taiwan strongly rejects Beijing’s sovereignty claims.

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