Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Taiwan accuses China of 'sabre rattling' as naval drill begins

China is conducting live-fire military exercises in the Taiwan Strait
China is conducting live-fire military exercises in the Taiwan Strait amid growing tension in the region.
The one-day drill follows Chinese warnings against independence moves by the self-governing island. Taiwan began a similar exercise earlier this week.

Officials in Taipei accused Beijing of "sabre rattling" and played down the significance of the exercises, pointing out that they take place regularly.

China sees Taiwan as a breakaway province and has threatened to invade.

Relations with the mainland have grown more tense since Taiwan elected a pro-independence president in 2016.

Taiwan's defence ministry responded to the exercise by accusing Beijing of exaggerating its importance to intimidate the island.

"That's why we say it's verbal intimidation and sabre rattling," a spokesman said.

A Chinese official made it clear the military drill was meant to warn Taiwan against moving towards independence.

China's Taiwan Affairs Office director Liu Jieyi said on Monday that the drill was "to safeguard the sovereignty and territorial integrity of our motherland".


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