China says military drills near Taiwan are a “just” action to protect peace as tensions continue to rise between the country and the democratically run island.
"They are absolutely just actions," Ma Xiaoguang, spokesman for China's Taiwan Affairs Office, said following a series of military drills in Taiwan's air defense identification zone at the beginning of October, Reuters reported.
Ma is blaming Taiwan's ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and the United States for increased tensions with Taiwan’s defense minister saying tensions are at their highest in 40 years.
"The DPP authorities' hyping of the so-called military threat of the mainland is to completely invert right and wrong, and a bogus accusation," Ma said.
"If the DPP authorities obstinately persist in going about things the wrong way, and do not know how to draw back from the edge, it will only push Taiwan into a more dangerous situation,” he added.
The comments come after Chinese President Xi Jinping said there will be a “peaceful reunification” with Taiwan’s desire for independence is the “biggest obstacle” to obtaining that goal.
Taiwan’s defense ministry said Wednesday there would be strong countermeasures if China continues to get close to Taiwan’s border, according to Reuters.
The ministry said in a report to parliament "the closer they are to the island, the stronger the countermeasures.” It is unclear what kind of countermeasures would be taken.
China blocking the Taiwan Strait "are becoming more and more complete, which will pose serious challenges and threats to our defence operations,” the ministry said.
Tensions are high between Taiwan and China as China sees Taiwan as its territory while Taiwan says it is an independent nation.