China says it’s ‘ready to fight’ after 3 days of military drills around Taiwan

China says it’s ‘ready to fight’ after 3 days of military drills around Taiwan
via CCTV Video News Agency
Carl Samson
April 10, 2023
China declared its preparedness to “fight” on Monday after wrapping up a series of military drills around Taiwan that simulated precision strikes and sealing off the self-governed island in the event it decides to take it by force.
Dubbed as “Joint Sword,” the “combat readiness patrols” sought to warn Taipei following high-profile meetings between President Tsai Ing-wen and leaders in Central America and the U.S. The Taiwanese leader ended her 10-day trip meeting U.S. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy in California, an event Beijing previously threatened to respond to with “resolute countermeasures.”
“The theater’s troops are ready to fight at all times and can fight at any time to resolutely smash any form of ‘Taiwan independence’ and foreign interference attempts,” China’s military said, as per the Associated Press.
The drills kicked off on Saturday, and by Monday, four J-15 fighter jets were reported to have crossed Taiwan’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ), an area the island considers as a buffer, according to CNN.

China, which regards Taiwan as a breakaway province, has long vowed to reunite with the island — through force if necessary. 
The government split occurred after the 1949 Civil War when the Chinese Community Party won Beijing and forced the Kuomintang-led administration to evacuate to Taiwan and other surrounding territories.
Taiwan immediately condemned the latest drills, with its Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) lodging a protest and reiterating that the island would not yield to threats. 
Meanwhile, civilians of all ages expressed their desire for independence.
“I am a little worried, I would be lying to you if I say that I am not,” Donald Ho, a 73-year-old retired lecturer, told the Taipei Times. “The problem is sovereignty. I want independence, but they [China] just regard Taiwan as a province.”
Nathan Green, 16, a dual Australian Taiwanese national, said freedom may be the “most important thing for a country.”
“I don’t like a government that is like a prison. I don’t like a government that wants to control our people. I like a government that is free,” he told the Times.
The latest drills also concerned Japan, whose forces had observed fighters and helicopters taking off and landing on China’s Shandong carrier 120 times from Friday to Sunday, as per Reuters. The carrier, three other warships and a support vessel all came within 230 kilometers (approximately 143 miles) of Miyako island, part of the Okinawa islands that house a U.S. Air Force base.
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