Chinese Air Force bombers 'circle around' Taiwan

WION Web Team
TaiwanUpdated: Apr 26, 2018, 04:57 PM IST

File photo: Members of a Taiwanese independence group march with flags around the group of pro-China supporters in Taipei. Photograph:(Reuters)

Story highlights

Taiwan is set to start the "Han Guang exercise" in which the military says it will conduct "computer-simulated war games".

In a move which further fueled tensions, Chinese aircraft flew around Taiwan today which the Air Force said was meant for "combat military drills".

"H-6K bombers conducted numerous drills circling Taiwan since April 18 to improve its ability to safeguard national sovereignty and territorial integrity," Chinese Air Force said in a statement.

China has racked up pressure on Taiwan in recent months conducting naval and air excercises close to Taiwan waters, a move which the Taiwan government has described as "military intimidation".

Ma Xiaoguang, China's spokesman of the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council had said on Wednesday that his country will unite with "Taiwan compatriots, overcome difficulties and remove obstacles" to pursue the "bright prospect for the peaceful development of the cross-Strait relations."

Taiwan is set to start the "Han Guang exercise" in which the military says it will conduct "computer-simulated war games". The military exercise is meant for combat readiness in case of an attack by China.

Taiwan media had reported that it won't be conducting live-drills given the changing nature of its armed forces instead it will devise a "new military strategy".

"We have the confidence and capacity to maintain the overall situation of the cross-Strait relations, control the future direction of the development of the cross-Strait ties, and frustrate any acts provoking the cross-Strait ties," Ma asserted.

China does not recognise Taiwan as an independent country and has often hit out against US-Taiwan relations even as President Trump has tried to boost relations between the two countries.

"The series of operations we are carrying out is directed against Taiwan independence forces and activities in the island," the Chinese defence ministry spokesman said, adding, "their purpose is to prevent that the Taiwan independence forces' plot damages the welfare of the Taiwanese people. If the independence forces continue to wantonly take rash actions, we will take further actions.