Taiwan president calls for cooperation following days of China military drills News
shutterbean / Pixabay
Taiwan president calls for cooperation following days of China military drills

Taiwan’s President Lai Ching-te called on China to work with the island to ensure regional stability on Sunday, following two days of Chinese war games near the island.

The call for cooperation came amidst growing aggression towards Taiwan in recent days, with China undertaking two days of military drills surrounding Taiwan over the weekend. China said they intended the drills to punisht for what it perceives as “separatist acts” by the self-governed island, as well as a test of their ability to seize and control key areas. A Chinese defense spokesperson said in a statement that the drills were “completely reasonable, legal, and necessary” as part of an effort “to crack down on the arrogance of ‘Taiwan independence’ and deter the interference and intervention of external forces.”

The military drills came just three days after the inauguration of Taiwan’s President William Lai, whom Beijing has labeled a “dangerous troublemaker.”

The US Department of State said in a statement that “The United States is deeply concerned over the People’s Liberation Army joint military drills in the Taiwan Strait and around Taiwan.” They continued, “We are monitoring PRC activities closely and coordinating with allies and partners regarding our shared concerns.” US lawmakers and politicians arrived in Taiwan’s capital on Sunday in a show of solidarity, about a week after their UK counterparts make a similar visit.

China views Taiwan as a breakaway province destined to come under Beijing’s control, whereas Taiwan considers itself a distinct entity. The island’s defense ministry has condemned the drills, describing them as provocations. Over the past year, China has repeatedly conducted military maneuvers involving fighter jets and naval ships in the vicinity of Taiwan, contributing to heightened tensions.