PLA drills around Taiwan help cross-Straits stability: spokesman

Source:Global Times Published: 2019/4/15 19:33:40

The recent encirclement drills of vessels, bombers and reconnaissance aircraft from the People's Liberation Army (PLA) Eastern Theater Command recently undertook around the island of Taiwan helps with cross-Straits peace and stability, according to a military spokesperson.

The encirclement is a necessary training, and tests the combat capability of integrating multiple military branches, said Zhang Chunhui, spokesperson of the PLA Eastern Theater Command.

Zhang said that it is a normal annual arrangement and is totally in line with a sovereign country's legitimate rights. 

The PLA Air Force and Navy will continue conducting frequent island encirclement exercises. The drill this time, just as previous ones, aims to create a formidable military deterrence against Taiwan separatists, said an anonymous expert from National Defense University of the PLA.

The drill came after two PLA fighter jets crossed the "middle line" of the Taiwan Straits on March 31, which Taiwan called the mainland's "provocative" actions that "seriously impact regional safety and stability," according to Taiwan's Military News Agency.

Ma Xiaoguang, a spokesperson for the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council said on April 10 that this is a normal training arrangement of the PLA.

Protecting national sovereignty and territorial integrity is a sacred duty of the PLA and benefits compatriots across the Straits, said Ma.

The anonymous military expert told the Global Times that the "middle line" is only a psychological line which separates the Taiwan Straits, and neither side usually crosses the line. Both sides are Chinese territory, plus the Chinese mainland has never recognized the line.

Global Times

Posted in: MILITARY

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