Wednesday, December 7, 2022

China’s military threat has not decreased, says Taiwan president

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The threat of force from China has not decreased but Taiwan will not escalate conflict or provoke disputes.

President Tsai Ing-wen said this on Thursday, as a source told Reuters the number of warships in the Taiwan Strait was greatly reduced.

Furious about a visit to self-ruled Taiwan last week by U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi, China had earlier extended its largest-ever exercises around the island it claimed as its own beyond the four days originally scheduled.

China’s military said it had completed various tasks around Taiwan but would conduct regular patrols, signaling a possible end to the days of war games but also that Beijing would maintain pressure on the island.

Earlier, Chinese exercises included launches of ballistic missiles, some of which flew over the island’s capital of Taipei, and simulated sea and air attacks in surrounding skies and waters.

Taiwan had also been conducting relatively small-scale, annual exercises, scheduled before the surge in tension and aimed at preparing its forces to repel an invasion.

Tsai visited air force headquarters on Thursday to speak to officers.

“At present, the threat of Chinese military force has not decreased,’’ Tsai told the officers, according to a statement from her office.

Tsai again stressed that Taiwan would neither escalate conflicts nor provoke disputes, her office added.

Reuters/NAN

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