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Philippine defence chief says Taiwan Strait situation an 'internal matter'

24/5/2024 16:32
        The situation in the Taiwan Strait, where China has carried out military exercises, is an "internal matter," Philippine Defence Secretary Gilberto Teodoro said on Friday, declining to comment on drills that Taiwan has condemned.
        
        China's military conducted a second day of war games around Taiwan on Friday, with drills to test its ability to "seize power" and control key areas. Beijing has said the exercises were launched to punish Taiwan's new president, Lai Ching-te.
        
        "I will not comment on anything on the Taiwan Strait, as that's an internal matter for them," Teodoro told reporters on the sidelines of a Philippine Navy anniversary event.
        
        China views democratically governed Taiwan as its own territory and denounces Lai as a "separatist". It strongly criticised his inauguration speech on Monday, in which he urged Beijing to cease threats and said the two sides of the strait were "not subordinate to each other".
        
        Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr drew China's ire in January when he congratulated Lai after winning an election, referring to him as president.
        



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