Highlights

  • China says military drills around Taiwan are over
  • Beijing warns of regular combat patrols in Taiwan Strait
  • Drills in retaliation to US Speaker Nancy Pelosi's visit

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China 'successfully completes' military drills around Taiwan

China also warned that it will organise regular combat patrols as a new normal to enforce its one-China policy.

China on Wednesday announced that it has "successfully completed" its week-long and unprecedented military drills encircling Taiwan in retaliation to US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's visit to the self-ruled island. It also warned that Beijing will organise regular combat patrols as a new normal to enforce its one-China policy.

Initially, the People's Liberation Army's (PLA) announced the war games in the busy Taiwan Strait from August 4 to 7, the day after Pelosi who is the highest-ranking US leader to have visited Taiwan in 25 years, left Taipei after high-level meetings. It later kept extending them, keeping the breakaway island on tenterhooks.

The Chinese military exercises involved hundreds of warplanes, dozens of naval ships, including an aircraft carrier group with nuclear submarine in tow, amid assertions by the official media that such war games in the busy Taiwan Strait will be a new normal.

The PLA’s Eastern Theatre Command said in a statement on Wednesday that the joint military operations around the Taiwan island have been “completed successfully”.

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But the PLA will organise regular combat patrols in the Taiwan region and resolutely safeguard national sovereignty and territorial integrity after successfully completing its recent training exercises around Taiwan, Senior Colonel Shi Yi said.

The state-run Xinhua news agency quoted Shi as saying that the Eastern Command will keep a close eye on the changing situation in the Taiwan Straits, carry out training and war preparation, regularly organise combat-ready police patrols across the Taiwan Straits, and resolutely safeguard national sovereignty and territorial integrity.

The drills involved forces drawn from all wings of the PLA in the Taiwan Strait virtually laying siege to the breakaway island which Beijing claims as part of its mainland, sparking global concerns of possible military assault by China to annex Taiwan.

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