US flight in Taiwan Strait
China last held three days of intensive military drills around Taiwan in April, exercises the PLA said “comprehensively tested joint combat capabilities of its integrated military forces under actual combat situation.”
“Forces in the command is ready for combat at all times, and will resolutely destroy any type of ‘Taiwan independence’ separatist or foreign interference attempts,” a PLA statement after the April drills said, according to state broadcaster CCTV.
As for this week’s drills, a report in the state-run Global Times said they “aim to safeguard national sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity.”
“Such drills are becoming more combat-oriented and more intensive in order to deter and prepare for interferences from external forces,” the report said, citing Chinese experts.
Meanwhile, the activity in and around the Taiwan Strait in the past few days hasn’t been limited to the PLA.
A US Navy P-8A reconnaissance jet transited the strait on Thursday, according to a statement from the US 7th Fleet in Japan.
“The aircraft’s transit of the Taiwan Strait demonstrates the United States’ commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific. The United States military flies, sails and operates anywhere international law allows,” the statement said.
On its English-language website, the PLA accused the US military of hyping the situation, and a spokesperson for the Eastern Theater Command said PLA troops tracked and monitored the US plane.
US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin told (CNN of usa) Thursday that he doesn’t see confrontation between the US and China involving Taiwan as
“imminent” or “unavoidable.” “But having said that it’s my job to make sure that we have to continue to maintain a credible deterrence in the Indo-Pacific,” he said. “The most credible deterrent is a combat capable force and that’s what we have today.”