China’s military on Monday continued large-scale military drills for a third consecutive day near Taiwan.

A statement from the military said the wargames included “sealing off” the island nation, and that one of China’s two aircraft carriers — the Shandong — also “participated in today’s exercise.”

Chinese state television reported that aircraft, including nuclear-capable H-6 bombers armed with missiles, and warships performed drills to “form a multi-directional island-encompasing blockade situation.”

Taiwan’s Defense Ministry said that it had registered 70 PLA aircraft and 11 Chinese naval vessels from China’s military by 6 a.m. (22:00 GMT), and said its armed forces were monitoring the situation closely.

Taiwan’s military said that 35 of the detected aircraft had crossed the median line of the Taiwan Strait.

US naval destroyer patrolling

Meanwhile, the U.S. deployed a naval destroyer into waters claimed by Beijing, a move that elicited an angry response from China’s military.

“Missile destroyer USS Milius illegally intruded into the waters adjacent to the Meiji Reef in China’s Nansha Islands without the approval of the Chinese government,” spokesman for the Chinese military’s Southern Theatre Command, Tian Junli said in a statement.

He went on to say that Beijing’s air force “followed and carried out surveillance of the vessel.”


Photo Credit: Getty Images

Sailors aboard USS Milius (Ddg 69) man the rails as they head down San Diego Bay, June 22, 2000.

The U.S. Navy said its guided-missile destroyer had conducted a navigational rights operation and was consistent with international law.

“This freedom of navigation operation upheld the rights, freedoms, and lawful uses of the sea,” the U.S. Navy said in a statement.

Drills in response to Taiwanese leader’s US meeting

China launched the drills dubbed “United Sharp Sword” in response to last week’s meeting between Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen and U.S. House speaker Kevin McCarthy and said it was a “stern warning.”

The meeting took place after Tsai stopped in California on her way home, having completed a trip to Central America.

Beijing considers the democratically self-governed island of Taiwan as its own and has threatened to take it by force.

Washington has no formal diplomatic relations with Taipei, however, the U.S. is also Taiwan’s most significant political and military backer.

kb/rc (AFP, dpa, Reuters)

This article was originally published on Deutsche Welle. Read the original article here.

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