China says military pressure on Taiwan to ‘continue’

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China on Wednesday vowed military pressure on Taiwan would carry on as long as “independence” provocations continued on the self-ruled island.

Last week, China held two days of military drills around Taiwan that saw warships and jets loaded with live munitions practise seizing and isolating the self-ruled island.

The exercises were launched three days after Taiwanese President Lai Ching-te took office and made an inauguration speech that China denounced as a “confession of independence”.

Beijing considers the democratic island part of its territory and has not ruled out using force to bring it under its control.

On Wednesday, Beijing’s Taiwan Affairs Office (TAO) said more military exercises could follow last week’s “Joint Sword-2024A”.

“As long as ‘Taiwan independence’ provocations continue, the People’s Liberation Army’s (PLA) actions to defend national sovereignty and territorial integrity will continue,” TAO spokeswoman Zhu Fenglian told a press conference.

Zhu called President Lai’s rhetoric “extremely reckless”, adding it would “inevitably risk war on the Taiwan strait and bring severe harm to our Taiwan compatriots”.

“We will never tolerate, condone, or allow this, and we must counteract and punish this,” she said.

“The greater the provocation, the stronger the countermeasure.”

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Agence France-Presse (AFP) is a French international news agency headquartered in Paris, France. Founded in 1835 as Havas, it is the world's oldest news agency.

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