China says drills near Taiwan for peace, stability

China has defended its recent military exercises near Taiwan. The Asian power says the drills are aimed at protecting the country’s sovereignty and integrity against Taipei’s collusion with foreign powers.

The Chinese Taiwan Affairs Office has defended Beijing’s military exercises near Taiwan, claiming it is a “just” move to protect peace and stability, and blamed Taipei’s “collusion” with foreign forces.

Speaking on Wednesday, Ma Xiaoguang, spokesman for China’s Taiwan Affairs Office, put the blame for rising tensions firmly on Taipei, accusing it of inventing “bogus accusations” against Beijing and colluding with foreign powers.

“The [Democratic Progressive Party] DPP authorities’ hyping of the so-called ‘military threat’ of the mainland is to completely invert right and wrong, and a bogus accusation,” Ma told gathered reporters.

Ma added recent Chinese drills were a response to Taiwanese “collusion” with foreign powers, a reference to the US and its allies, and the ruling DPP’s “provocations” concerning the island’s independence.

“They are absolutely just actions,” Ma claimed, referencing Chinese wargames in the province directly across the sea from Taiwan.
“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,” the spokesman noted.

On Monday, Chinese forces carried out beach landing and assault drills in the southern part of Fujian province, just across the sea from Taiwan. The action involved “shock” troops, sappers and boat specialists, according to the official People’s Liberation Army Daily newspaper.

Tensions surrounding Taiwan are on the rise. On Monday, Beijing registered “solemn representations” with Canberra after former Australian prime minister Tony Abbott visited Taiwan, pledging support for the island and highlighting Taipei’s achievements.

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