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Chinese military practiced Taiwan invasion manoeuvres in 2023, says US general

23/5/2024 11:22
        Chinese military drills in the straits of Taiwan in 2023 practiced manoeuvres key to an invasion of the island, although an actual attack was not imminent or inevitable, a senior US general in the region said on Thursday.
        
        Deputy Commander of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, Lieutenant General Stephen Sklenka, said in a speech in Canberra, in the exercises, the People's Liberation Army simulated a maritime and air blockade of Taiwan, amphibious assaults and counter-intervention operations.
        
        Sklenka's comments come as Taiwan's military mobilised its forces on Thursday after China started two days of "punishment" drills around Taiwan in what it said was a response to "separatist acts".
        
        The latest Chinese military drills come just three days after Lai Ching-te took office as Taiwan's new president, a man Beijing detests as a "separatist". China views democratically governed Taiwan as its own territory. Taiwan's government says only Taiwan's people can decide their future.
        
        China's military exercises are part of a sustained pressure campaign against Taiwan stretching back to 2022, said Sklenka, adding that once rare incursions into Taiwan's Air Defense Identification Zone have now become normal.
        



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