China seeks to ‘normalize’ military drills near island: Taiwan

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China seeks to 'normalize' military drills near island: Taiwan
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China says its armed forces have the right to operate around Taiwan. (Case)

Taipei:

China is seeking to “normalize” its military activities near Taiwan, including crossing the center line of the Taiwan Strait, which poses an unprecedented challenge, Taiwan’s Defense Ministry said on Tuesday.

China, which considers the democratically-ruled island its own territory, waged war games including missile fire over Taipei in early August in response to a visit to Taiwan by the US House Speaker. United, Nancy Pelosi.

China’s military activities near Taiwan have continued at a much reduced level, although Chinese military aircraft still regularly cross the middle line of the Taiwan Strait, which previously served as an unofficial barrier between the two.

“In the future, the activities of Chinese Communist military aircraft and ships entering our air defense identification zone, crossing the median line and approaching sea areas near the island will gradually become more normalized,” he said. said the ministry.

“The national army faces an unprecedented challenge,” the ministry said in a report to parliament before Defense Minister Chiu Kuo-cheng answered lawmaker questions on Wednesday, a copy of which was reviewed by Reuters. .

China says its armed forces have the right to operate around Taiwan because it is Chinese territory.

The Taiwanese government has denounced Beijing’s threats and rejected China’s sovereignty claims, saying only the island’s 23 million people have the right to decide their future.

Taiwan will respond to China’s military threats by “appropriately” increasing its level of combat readiness and remaining on high alert, the ministry said.

As the world is distracted by the war in Ukraine, China is upgrading its armed forces and increasing pressure on Taiwan, the ministry said.

In its report seeking parliamentary approval for next year’s defense budget, the ministry also said it hoped to prioritize spending on ammunition and arms parts to respond to “the state of urgent combat readiness”.

The government has proposed $19 billion in defense spending for next year, a double-digit increase from 2022 that includes funds for new fighter jets.

(Except for the title, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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