Taiwan – The People’s Liberation Army said on Monday that China’s military forces conducted another round of drills near Taiwan last week to boost collaborative combat operations, after the Chinese-controlled island reported an increase in activity.
For the last two years, Taiwan has complained about regular Chinese military activity near it, which is largely centered in the island’s air defense identification zone, or ADIZ.
On Friday, Taiwan’s air force raced to chase away 18 Chinese planes that had entered its air defense zone, and further intrusions were reported on Saturday and Sunday, but with fewer planes.
The Eastern Theater Command of the People’s Liberation Army stated in a statement that navy and air force assets conducted drills to the east and southwest of Taiwan from Friday to Sunday.
It stated that the drills aimed to “further test and develop the combined fighting capacity of numerous services and armaments.”
The weaponry involved, according to Taiwan’s Defense Ministry, includes bombers, fighters, and anti-submarine planes.
There have been no guns fired, and the Chinese planes have been flying in Taiwan’s ADIZ, a larger region that Taiwan monitors and patrols to allow it more time to react to any threats.
Eight Chinese military warships, including an aircraft carrier, traveled between islands in Japan‘s southern Okinawa group, northeast of Taiwan, last week, according to Japan.
Last week, Taiwan conducted pre-announced missile and other exercises along its southern and southeastern shores.
The Taiwan Strait remains a potentially deadly military flashpoint because China has never renounced the use of force to annex democratically-ruled Taiwan.
China’s sovereignty claims are rejected by Taiwan’s government, which says that only the island’s 23 million people can determine its future.