China has launched what it called “punishment” drills around Taiwan in a response to “separatist acts”, sending up heavily armed warplanes and staging mock attacks days after President Lai Ching-te was inaugurated.


China, which views democratically governed Taiwan as its own territory, has denounced Lai’s inauguration speech on Monday, in which he called on China to stop its threats and said the two sides of the strait were “not subordinate to each other”.


Meanwhile, spokesman of Taiwan’s defence ministry, Sun Li- Fang has described the exercises in the Taiwan Strait and around groups of Taiwan-controlled islands as unnecessary and irresponsible, accusing China of fanning unrest in the region.


Taiwan’s defence ministry also confirmed the drills are being conducted in the Taiwan Strait, the north, south and east of Taiwan, as well as areas around the Taiwan-controlled islands of Kinmen, Matsu, Wuqiu and Dongyin, the first time China’s exercises have included areas round these islands.

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