China announces military drills near Taiwan after Biden remarks

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China announced on Wednesday that it conducted military drills near Taiwan amid President Biden’s comments that the U.S. would defend the island if Beijing invaded.

Col. Shi Yi, a spokesperson for the Eastern Theatre Command of the People’s Liberation Army, said in a statement that the drills were a “solemn warning to the recent US-Taiwan collusion activities.”

The statement didn’t specify exactly where the drills were held, but it did say that the command performed “multi-service joint combat readiness patrols” and “actual combat drills” in the sea and airspace around Taiwan.

The drill underscores the fallout of Biden’s comments from Monday, when he answered “yes” when asked whether he was willing to get the U.S. involved militarily to defend Taiwan if China were to attempt to take it by force.

The White House quickly walked back Biden’s comments, saying that he wasn’t announcing a policy change.

China has stepped up its provocations toward Taiwan, and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has sparked concerns that Beijing might soon launch an incursion against Taiwan.

China and Russia flew nuclear-capable bombers in a joint military exercise as the president wrapped up his trip to Asia.  

Under the “One China” policy, the U.S. recognizes Beijing as the representative government of China, but only acknowledges China’s claims to Taiwan. At the same time, Washington is committed to ensuring that Taipei can defend itself under federal law.

In the statement, Shi reiterated Beijing’s position that Taiwan is part of China and said it was “hypocritical and futile” for Washington to say one thing while encouraging the “Taiwan independence forces.”

He added that the troops of the Eastern Theater are “determined and capable” of stopping any attempts of “Taiwan independence.”

Tags Biden China Joe Biden Taiwan

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