China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) on Wednesday announced it conducted a military exercise near Taiwan to send a message to the US over its “collusion” with the island.
Col. Shi Yi, a spokesman for the PLA’s Eastern Theater Command, described the exercises as a “solemn warning against recent collusion between the United States and Taiwan.”
“It is hypocritical and futile for the United States to say one thing and do another on the Taiwan issue and frequently encourage and support ‘Taiwan independence’ forces,” Shi added.
The drills came after President Biden’s first visit to Asia as president, where he said from Tokyo that the US would intervene militarily if China invaded Taiwan. The comments initially appeared to be a break from the US policy of strategic ambiguity around Taiwan, but they were quickly walked back by the White House.
Biden later clarified that there had been no change to the policy of strategic ambiguity, which means the US won’t commit to defending Taiwan. But whether he meant it or not, Biden’s pledge to intervene in Taiwan was viewed as a major provocation in Beijing.
Over the past few years, the US has increased cooperation with Taiwan as part of its strategy to counter China. The relationship has angered Beijing, and Chinese officials have warned that Washington’s support for Taiwan’s “independence forces” could lead to a war between the US and China.