Chinese navy ships reportedly remained in waters around Taiwan on Tuesday, a day after China said it had ended military exercises in the area.
Chinese state media reported the ships continued to carry out “actual combat training” as of Tuesday morning, Reuters news agency reported.
The military exercises – which China said ended Monday – were held in answer to a visit by Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen to the United States last week. During her visit, Tsai met with U.S. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy in Los Angeles, California.
China had warned the U.S. government not to permit Tsai to visit or meet with McCarthy. China sees such meetings as showing support for Taiwanese voters and politicians who support full independence for Taiwan.
China considers Taiwan a rebel territory. Chinese officials have said the government plans to one day reclaim the territory and would use force to do so if necessary. Taiwan rejects China’s territorial claims.
Although China said Monday night the drills had ended, state television reported that several warships "continued to carry out actual combat training in the waters around Taiwan.” The report said the exercises were continuing “to test the organizational and command capabilities of commanders at all levels and the combat effectiveness of weapons and equipment."
State television described some ships performing combat readiness exercises in waters off Taiwan's eastern coast. The exercises included air defense and anti-missile training, the report said.
Taiwan's defense ministry said it had observed nine Chinese ships and 26 aircraft carrying out exercises around the island late Tuesday morning. The ministry said Taiwan's air force, navy and land-based missile crews were closely watching the situation.
Taiwan's government has repeatedly denounced the drills, but said it would not take any actions to escalate the exercises.
Writing on her Facebook page shortly before midnight on Monday, Tsai defended her trip to the U.S. She said that as president, "I represent my country to the world." She added that her visits overseas, including stops in the United States, were nothing new and something Taiwan's citizens expect to see.
"However, China used this to launch military exercises, causing instability in Taiwan and the region,” Tsai wrote. “This is not a responsible attitude for a major country," she said.
China's People's Liberation Army issued a threat as it ended the exercises. A statement was issued by the Liberation Army’s Eastern Theater Command. It said Chinese troops "can fight at any time to resolutely smash any form of ‘Taiwan independence’ and foreign interference attempts.”
I’m Bryan Lynn.
The Associated Press and Reuters reported on this story. Bryan Lynn adapted the reports for VOA Learning English.
Words in This Story
combat – n. a fight, especially during a war
capability – n. the ability or power to do something
escalate – v. to become worse or more serious
region – n. a particular area in a country or the world
resolute – adj. purposeful or determined
attitude – n. how someone thinks or feels about something
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