China warns of Taiwan ‘war’ as military drills encircle island

Beijing   -   China warned on Friday of war over Taiwan and said it would ramp up countermeasures until “complete reunification” was achieved, as Chinese forces conducted military drills around the self-ruled island. Warships and fighter jets encircled Taiwan on the second day of exercises that Beijing said were a test of its ability to seize the island, days after its new president was sworn in.

China’s military kicked off the two-day war games on Thursday morning, surrounding democratic Taiwan with naval vessels and military aircraft as it vowed the blood of “independence forces” on the island would flow.

The exercises were launched three days after Lai Ching-te took office and made an inauguration speech that China denounced as a “confession of independence”. Beijing’s defence ministry spokesman Wu Qian said on Friday that Lai “has seriously challenged the one-China principle... pushing our compatriots in Taiwan into a perilous situation of war and danger”.

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