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China to conduct more military exercises in Taiwan Strait

The Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) will conduct more military exercises in the Taiwan Strait, keeping in mind the worst-case scenarios due to rising tensions with Japan and the US

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Beijing:  The Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) will conduct more military exercises in the Taiwan Strait, keeping in mind the worst-case scenarios due to rising tensions with Japan and the US, the Global Times newspaper reported, citing a Chinese military expert.

The expert reportedly said such a decision was prompted by Tokyo and Washington’s intention to resolve the Taiwan issue by military means.

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The PLA has recently conducted three large-scale exercises near the Taiwan Island, which has been a rarity in the last years, the expert said, according to the Global Times.

Another military expert, Song Zhongping, told the newspaper that the Chinese army is not only issuing warnings, but also making practical preparations for a military conflict that seems quite possible.

On Wednesday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian warned the US of serious consequences for its support of separatist forces in Taiwan amid a visit of US Senator Tammy Duckworth to the island.

The Taiwanese Defense Ministry said on Monday Beijing had sent some 30 warplanes near the island. Chinese Army Senior Colonel Shi Yi said, in turn, that the Chinese military had carried out a joint air and sea policing mission near Taiwan as a response to “the collusion” between Washington and Taipei.

Beijing considers Taiwan an inalienable part of its sovereign territory and opposes any official contacts between the island and other nations. The US has provided Taiwan with numerous weapon systems and supported pro-independence elements there.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry has repeatedly said the one-China principle is a political foundation of US-China relations and that violations by Washington of its own obligations have been jeopardizing bilateral cooperation between the two countries, threatening peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait.

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