China Says Its Military Drills Near Taiwan Aimed at Preventing Outside Interference

© AP Photo / Li Gang/XinhuaIn this April 12, 2018 photo released by Xinhua News Agency, the Liaoning aircraft carrier is accompanied by navy frigates and submarines conducting an exercises in the South China Sea
In this April 12, 2018 photo released by Xinhua News Agency, the Liaoning aircraft carrier is accompanied by navy frigates and submarines conducting an exercises in the South China Sea - Sputnik International, 1920, 13.10.2021
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BEIJING (Sputnik) - China conducts military exercises near the border with Taiwan to guard its national sovereignty and prevent foreign interference in the relations between mainland and the island, Ma Xiaoguang, spokesman for China's Taiwan Affairs Office, said on Wednesday.
"The PLA [People's Liberation Army] exercises are necessary actions to protect state sovereignty and territorial integrity, they are aimed against separatist movements advocating 'Taiwan independence' and external interference," the diplomat told a briefing.
The drills are also aimed at protecting the interests of the Chinese people, as well as specific interests of "Taiwanese compatriots," as the island's independence would bring "disastrous effects" to them, Ma Xiaoguang noted.
"The security and well-being of Taiwanese compatriots can be ensured only through resolutely restraining attempts of [achieving Taiwan's] 'independence'," he added.
Last week, Taiwanese Defenсe Minister Chiu Kuo-cheng said that Beijing might consider mounting a full-scale invasion of the island by 2025. The statement came after Beijing sent nearly 150 military aircraft into Taiwan's air defense zone on 1 October.
Taiwan has been governed independently from mainland China since 1949. Beijing views the island as its province, while Taiwan — a territory with its own democratically elected government — maintains that it is an autonomous country and has political and economic relations with several other nations that recognize its sovereignty.
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