Chinese military holds amphibious landing drill close to Taiwan after US Senators visit

The Chinese military has conducted an amphibious landing exercise in waters near Taiwan, days after a delegation of the US senators visited the estranged island in a military plane as a show of support.

According to a statement by the Eastern Theatre Command of the People’s Liberation Army, its 72nd Group Army carried out naval training that included transporting amphibious vehicles and conducting an assault landing in unspecified waters south of Fujian Province, which faces the self-ruled Taiwan island, the Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post reported on Wednesday.

Amphibious landing is an essential step for a military to seize an island such as Taiwan, which was seen by Beijing as its breakaway province. Beijing has never renounced the use of military measures to reunify Taiwan, the self-governing island that China claims as its own territory.

On Monday, China lodged a diplomatic protest with the United States over the visit of three US senators to Taiwan, saying America should cease all forms of official contact with Taipei.

Much to the chagrin of Beijing, the US senators took a military aircraft to Taiwan to announce vaccine donation.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin told a press briefing that their visit has gravely violated the one-China principle and the three China-US joint communiques that the United States once stated it would uphold.

Wang urged the United States to immediately stop any form of official exchanges with Taiwan, handle the Taiwan question cautiously, and refrain from sending any wrong signals to “Taiwan independence” forces to avoid further serious damage to China-US ties and peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait.

Chinese defence ministry strongly condemned the visit of three US senators to Taiwan, calling it an abominable political provocation that challenges the one-China principle and aims to achieve the end goal of “containing China.”

More than the vaccines, the biggest provocation for China is the US military aircraft parked on the runway, the CNN reported.

The American delegation arrived at Taiwan’s Songshan Airport on a US Air Force C-17 Globemaster III freighter — a primary strategic lift aircraft for the US military.

China opposes US arms sales to Taiwan.

On May 19, a US navy guided-missile destroyer sailed through the Taiwan Strait, challenging China’s claims over the area as Beijing claims Taiwan as part of its mainland.

The US Navy’s 7th Fleet said in a statement “the ship’s transit through the Taiwan Strait demonstrates the US commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific.”

China is increasingly getting concerned over the US policy towards Taiwan.

China, for its part, vows to integrate the island with the Chinese mainland and it has stepped up military manoeuvres in the area. Beijing also firmly opposes the present Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen, who is a strong advocate of Taiwan’s independence.

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