China says it has completed various tasks around Taiwan

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China says it has completed various tasks around Taiwan

It said on Wednesday that China s military has completed various tasks around Taiwan but will conduct regular patrols, possibly signalling an end to days of war games but also that Beijing will keep up the pressure on the island.

China extended its largest-ever exercises around the self-ruled island it claims to be its own beyond the originally planned four days, as a result of a visit by U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to Taipei last week.

The drills last week included ballistic missile launches, some of which flew over the island's capital, Taipei, and simulated sea and air attacks in the skies and waters around Taiwan.

In a brief statement, the People's Liberation Army s Eastern Theater Command said that the series of joint military operations in the sea and airspace around Taiwan had successfully completed various tasks and tested the integrated combat capabilities of the troops. The theater forces will keep an eye on the changes in the situation in the Taiwan Strait, continue to carry out training and preparation for combat, organize regular combat readiness patrols in the direction of the Taiwan Strait and defend national sovereignty and territorial integrity. Video released by Chinese state broadcaster CCTV showed Chinese fighter jets scrambling and refueling midair, as well as navy ships on what it said were drills around Taiwan.

The Eastern Theater Command said the drills were focused on blockades and resupply logistics, under a complex electromagnetic environment to refine joint containment and control capabilities.

Taiwan's foreign minister said on Tuesday that China was using military drills as a game plan to prepare for an invasion of the democratically governed island.

Pelosi, a longtime China critic and political ally of President Joe Biden, visited Taiwan last week on the highest-level visit by an American official in decades, despite Chinese warnings. She said that her visit showed unwavering U.S. commitment to supporting Taiwan's democracy.

China says its relations with Taiwan are an internal matter and it reserves the right to bring the island under its control, by force if necessary. Taiwan rejects China's claims, saying only Taiwan's people can decide their future.

Washington was sticking to its assessment that China wouldn't try to invade Taiwan for the next two years, a Pentagon official said on Monday.

On Wednesday, Taiwan s Defense Ministry released a video showing its armed forces on exercises, saying that the military is ready to keep our country safe and that China has not stopped its incursions in areas near Taiwan.

The ministry said that Taiwan troops were guarding their positions 24 -- 7 and have increased their alertness level, following the guidelines of defending the median line, defending territorial waters and defending sovereignty to maintain the status quo.