(Beijing) China’s military announced “combat readiness” exercises in the Taiwan Strait on Saturday, amid tensions with the island after a meeting in the United States of its president Tsai Ing-wen and the third figure of the American state.
“The People’s Liberation Army Eastern Theater Command will hold a readiness exercise in the Taiwan Strait, the northern and southern parts of the island, and the airspace around the island from April 8 to 10. east of the island of Taiwan,” a statement from the Chinese military said.
These maneuvers will also include “police patrols”, the document adds.
The exact location of these exercises, which must therefore end on Monday, is not specified.
The Taiwanese Ministry of Defense said on Saturday that it had detected 13 aircraft and three warships around the island.
The narrowest part of the strait between the Chinese coast and Taiwan is about 130 kilometers wide.
China considers the island, with a population of 23 million, to be one of its provinces, which it has not yet managed to reunite with the rest of its territory since the end of the Chinese civil war.
Ended in 1949, the conflict pitted the Communists, who finally took power in mainland China, against the Nationalist army, forced to retreat to the island.
Chinese authorities have sought to diplomatically isolate Taipei since President Tsai Ing-wen came to power in 2016 because she is a member of a party that traditionally campaigns for independence – an absolute red line for Beijing.
After its meeting on Wednesday in the United States with the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives Kevin McCarthy, China on Thursday and Friday sent warships, a helicopter and a fighter jet to the Taiwan Strait.