China sends “serious warning” to Taiwan with military drills

China has conducted further military exercises near Taiwan, in response to a recent stopover by the Taiwanese vice president in the United States on a state trip.

The Chinese military stated in a declaration on Saturday that these exercises were a “serious warning” to the “separatists” in Taiwan who are cooperating with foreign forces.

The drills focused on the coordination of ships and aircraft, testing their ability to control air and sea spaces.

The “actual combat capabilities” of the armed forces were also being tested.

Taiwan’s Defence Ministry condemned China’s “irrational provocative activities”.

Forces have been dispatched to defend the country’s freedom, democracy, and sovereignty, said the ministry.

In spite of warnings from China, Taiwan’s Vice President William Lai traveled to Paraguay via a stopover in New York a week ago. He returned to Taiwan on Friday.

Beijing regards independently governed Taiwan as part of Chinese territory and threatens to take over the island by force if necessary.

China seeks to isolate Taiwan internationally and staunchly opposes official contacts between other countries and Taiwan.

Like most countries in the world, the U.S. does not have an embassy in Taiwan, although it has pledged millions in miltary aid for Taiwan’s defence.

China often carries out military exercises near Taiwan as a show of strength.

In April, Beijing responded with military exercises when Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen met with Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, Kevin McCarthy, during a stopover in the U.S

Mali, Burkina Faso, and Niger have met to discuss a joint defence strategy in response to the announcement by the West African regional bloc ECOWAS military intervention in the coup.

Military staff of the three countries met in the Nigerien capital Niamey to decide on “concrete measures” in case ECOWAS chooses to “escalate a war,” according to local media reports on Saturday.

Mali, Burkina Faso, and Niger have all been under military rule since coups in their respective countries and had therefore been kicked out of ECOWAS.

ECOWAS declared on Friday, that its forces were ready to intervene in Niger “once the order is given,” following the shock coup that took place just over three weeks ago.

A specific date for an intervention was not released.

All options, including a diplomatic solution, remain on the table, ECOWAS Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace, and Security, Abdel-Fatau Musah said.

Military chiefs from nine out of the 15-member countries deliberated during a two-day meeting in Ghana’s capital, Accra.

An ECOWAS mission would initially travel to Niger, according to Musah.

If this fails, the regional bloc would resort to a military solution to restore constitutional order in Niger.

A date for a potential military action has already been set, but cannot be disclosed publicly, the ECOWAS commissioner said.

All member states except those ruled by the military, as well as Cape Verde, have reportedly agreed to participate



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