US ‘deeply concerned’ over China military drills in Taiwan Strait

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The US State Department said on Saturday that the United States was “deeply concerned” over China’s military drills in the Taiwan Strait and around Taiwan, and strongly urged it to act with restraint.

“Using a normal, routine, and democratic transition as an excuse for military provocations risks escalation and erodes longstanding norms that for decades have maintained peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait,” the State Department said in a statement.

The department issued the statement after 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.

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.”

Beijing said the exercises were “punishment” for Lai’s Monday inauguration speech, in which he said the two sides of the Taiwan Strait were “not subordinate to each other,” which China viewed as a declaration the two are separate countries.

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