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China holds military drills around Taiwan as 'strong punishment for separatist acts'

China holds military drills around Taiwan as 'strong punishment for

China has launched large-scale military exercises around Taiwan in what it called "punishment" for so-called "separatist acts", days after the self-governing island was sworn in by a new democratically elected leader who called on Beijing to stop the tactics of intimidation, writes CNN

As part of the drills, dozens of Chinese warplanes carrying live ammunition carried out strikes against "high-value military targets" of the "enemy" along with destroyers and missile boats, according to China's state broadcaster CCTV.

The drills, which began early Thursday surround Taiwan and are the first real test for newly elected Lai Ching-te as he tries to manage relations with the island's powerful authoritarian neighbor.

China's ruling Communist Party says Taiwan is part of its territory, despite never having controlled it, and has vowed to take the island by force if necessary.

China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) said it launched joint military exercises involving the army, navy, air force and missile forces in areas around Taiwan at 7:45 a.m. Thursday.

PLA Marine Colonel Li Xi, a spokesman for the command, called the drills "a strong punishment for the separatist acts of Taiwan independence forces and a serious warning against interference and provocations by outside forces."

The Chinese military also deployed about a dozen Chinese warships around Taiwan, as well as a dozen Coast Guard vessels near Taiwan's outlying islands, according to the official.


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