China ends war games, Taiwan details warplane, warship surge

China ends war games, Taiwan details warplane, warship surge

TAIPEI, May 25 – China ended two days of war games around Taiwan in which it simulated attacks with bombers and practiced boarding ships, exercises that Taiwan condemned as “blatant provocation” on Saturday, detailing a surge of Chinese warplanes and warships.
Chinese state television’s military channel said late on Friday the drills had concluded. A commentary in the official People’s Liberation Army Daily said they had lasted for two days from Thursday to Friday, as previously announced.
China’s defence ministry did not answer calls seeking comment on Saturday.
China, which claims democratically governed Taiwan as its own territory, launched the “Joint Sword – 2024A” exercises three days after Lai Ching-te became Taiwan’s president, a man Beijing calls a “separatist”.
Lai has repeatedly offered talks with China but been rebuffed. He says only Taiwan’s people can decide their future, and rejects Beijing’s sovereignty claims. Taiwan’s government has condemned the drills, saying it will not be cowed by Chinese pressure.
Taiwan’s defence ministry said it had detected 62 Chinese military aircraft and 27 navy ships on Friday, including 46 planes that crossed the Taiwan Strait’s median line, which previously served as an unofficial barrier between the two sides.
Chinese aircraft, including advanced Su-30 fighters and nuclear-capable H-6 bombers, flew in the strait as well as into the Bashi Channel that separates Taiwan from the Philippines, the ministry said.
On Friday it published footage taken by Taiwanese air force planes of a Chinese J-16 fighter and an H-6 but did not say exactly where it was taken.
Taiwan’s presidential office on Saturday that China’s military moves had undermined the peaceful and stable status quo in the Taiwan Strait.
They “also constitute a blatant provocation to the international order, and have aroused serious concern and condemnation from the international community”, it said in a statement.

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