Fri, 22 Oct 2021

Taipei [Taiwan], September 18 (ANI): Taiwan on Saturday said it has a "thorough grasp" of Chinese military exercise in waters off the island's southwestern coast Friday.

Taiwan Ministry of Defence said it had a "thorough grasp and assessment" of China's military exercise, potential security threats facing Taiwan, and the situation in the region, Focus Taiwan reported citing Taiwan's Ministry of Defence.

The People's Liberation Army (PLA) Eastern Theater Command on Saturday said it has dispatched naval and air forces to conduct joint patrols and combat exercises in the waters and airspace southwest of Taiwan.

This comes after a US warship transited the Taiwan Straits. On Friday, the US 7th fleet released a statement saying a US warship, - the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Barry - sailed through the 180-kilometre-wide waterway.

The exercise came the same day as Taiwan concluded its annual Han Kuang military exercises and as a United States Navy ship transited the Taiwan Strait.

Taiwan's military wrapped up the five-day nationwide drills on Friday that involved all MND branches and are aimed at testing the country's combat readiness in the face of a possible Chinese invasion.

In addition, the MND also reported that 10 PLA planes flew into Taiwan's air defense identification zone (ADIZ) on Friday and Taiwan's air force responded by scrambling planes to monitor the Chinese aircraft, issuing radio warnings, and mobilizing air defense assets.

Beijing claims full sovereignty over Taiwan, a democracy of almost 24 million people located off the southeastern coast of mainland China, despite the fact that the two sides have been governed separately for more than seven decades.

Taipei, on the other hand, has countered the Chinese aggression by increasing strategic ties with democracies including the US, which has been repeatedly opposed by Beijing. China has threatened that "Taiwan's independence" means war.

On June 1, Chinese President Xi Jinping pledged to complete reunification with self-ruled Taiwan and vowed to smash any attempts at formal independence for the island. (ANI)

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