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China, Taiwan Play ‘Cat And Mouse’ Games On High Seas

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Ahead of the conclusion of China’s four-day military exercise targeting Taiwan, the navies of both the countries indulged in ‘cat and mouse’ games on the high seas. China initiated the exercise following US speaker Nancy Pelosi’s high profile Taiwan visit.

Pelosi’s trip to Taiwan infuriated China, which considers the self-ruled island an integral part of its territory. The Communist nation launched a series of ballistic missile tests over the island’s capital for the first time and stopped dialogue concerning various issues with Washington.

About 10 warships each from China and Taiwan sailed at close quarters in the Taiwan Strait. Some Chinese vessels crossed the median line, an unofficial border separating the two sides, a source with some knowledge of the matter said.

Taiwan’s defence ministry said multiple Chinese military ships, aircraft, and drones were simulating attacks on the island and its navy. The ministry said it ordered its forces to act “appropriately”.

Taiwan on Sunday issued a statement saying it had detected 14 Chinese warships and 66 Chinese aircraft in and around the Taiwan Strait.

Taiwan-administered island of Kinmen saw Chinese drones buzzing over it. Taiwan’s Kinmen Defense Command fired flares to deter the unmanned drones. The island lies just 10 km from the port city of Xiamen on the Chinese mainland, reports said.

Taiwan’s armed forces issued an alert, dispatched air and naval patrols around the island and activated land-based missile systems in response to the Chinese exercises, the Ministry of National Defense said.

“Our government & military are closely monitoring China’s military exercises & information warfare operations, ready to respond as necessary,” Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen said in a tweet.

“I call on the international community to support democratic Taiwan & halt any escalation of the regional security situation,” she added.

The Chinese side concluded the drills with ‘island saturation attack’ and ‘bomber deterrence flights’.

“After completing the mock strike mission, several bomber formations flew across the Taiwan Strait from north to south and from south to north simultaneously, carrying out a deterrence mission around the island jointly with other PLA services and branches,” Chinese Communist Party run tabloid, Global Times said.

Multiple bomber formations of the PLA crossed the Taiwan Strait in both directions simultaneously. The aim of the drill on Sunday was to carry out an “island attack” exercise along with a “lockdown” drill, the report said.

Despite the successful conclusion of the four-day Taiwan-focused drills, China has announced more military exercises around the Yellow Sea and in the Bonhai sea.

“The drill on the Bohai Sea will be held between August 8 and September 8, while another on the Yellow Sea will be conducted between August 7 and 15,” China’s Maritime Safety Administration (MSA) said in a statement.

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