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China says drills near Taiwan to combat 'arrogance' of separatists

Taipei has reported a rise in military activity in recent weeks, including exercises on land facing the island.

Reuters
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Customers dine near a giant screen broadcasting news footage of aircraft of the Air Force under the Eastern Theatre Command of China's People's Liberation Army taking part in a combat readiness patrol around Taiwan, at a restaurant in Beijing, China, April 10. Photo: Reuters
Customers dine near a giant screen broadcasting news footage of aircraft of the Air Force under the Eastern Theatre Command of China's People's Liberation Army taking part in a combat readiness patrol around Taiwan, at a restaurant in Beijing, China, April 10. Photo: Reuters

China's recent drills near Taiwan are aimed at combating the "arrogance" of separatist forces, the Chinese government said on Wednesday, after Taipei reported a rise in military activity in recent weeks, including exercises on land facing the island.

Taiwan has said this month that it had observed dozens of fighters, drones, bombers and other aircraft, as well as warships and the Chinese aircraft carrier Shandong, operating nearby.

The increased frequency of China's military activities has raised the risk of events "getting out of hand" and sparking an accidental clash, the island's defence minister said on Saturday.

Asked at a regular news briefing in Beijing about the rise in Chinese drills, and Taiwan's concerns about increased risk, China's Taiwan Affairs Office spokesman Zhu Fenglian said the People's Liberation Army had carried out a "series" of drills.

"The purpose is to resolutely combat the arrogance of Taiwan independence separatist forces and their actions to seek independence," Zhu said.

"The provocation of Taiwan independence continues all day long," she added.

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