PLA conducts joint military drills around Taiwan region

Drills: Exercises completely in line with international law

By JIANG CHENGLONG | China Daily | Updated: 2024-05-24 00:43
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A military vessel participates at sea in joint drills, code-named Joint Sword-2024A, being conducted by the Eastern Theater Command of the People's Liberation Army. [Photo/China Central Television]

The People's Liberation Army began two days of joint military drills on Thursday around China's Taiwan island, in a move seen as a stern warning to "Taiwan independence" forces.

In a brief statement released on Thursday morning, the PLA's Eastern Theater Command said the exercises would take place in the Taiwan Strait and to the north, south and east of Taiwan, as well as areas around the islands of Jinmen, Matsu, Wuqiu and Dongyin, which are located in the Taiwan Strait.

Li Xi, spokesman for the theater command, said in another statement that the exercises serve as a "strong punishment" against the separatist acts of the "Taiwan independence" forces and a "stern warning" against interference and provocation by external forces.

He said the drills, code-named Joint Sword-2024A, involve military branches including the PLA's Ground Force, Navy, Air Force and Rocket Force of the eastern theater command.

The exercises focus on practicing joint maritime and aerial combat readiness patrols, joint seizure of comprehensive battlefield control, and joint precision strikes of key targets, Li said.

The spokesman added that the drills involve the patrol of vessels and planes closing in on areas around Taiwan and integrated operations inside and outside the island chain to test the joint real combat capabilities of theater command forces.

On the same day, China Coast Guard spokesman Gan Yu announced that the coast guard in East China's Fujian province organized a vessel fleet to conduct comprehensive law enforcement drills near the islands of Wuqiu and Dongyin.

The drills are looking to test the capabilities of joint patrols, rapid response and emergency handling, he said.

These actions come in response to a speech on Monday by the new leader of the Taiwan region, Lai Ching-te, who blatantly advocated "Taiwan independence".

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