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China conducts 'combat exercises' on Taiwan Strait, as Biden envoys arrive

"Our determination to curb Taiwan independence and Taiwan-U.S. collusion is not just talk," a CCP spokesperson said.

Updated: April 14, 2021 - 8:48am

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China says its military presence in the Taiwan Strait – which it is calling "combat exercises" – are necessary and an effort to protect its national sovereignty.

"The People’s Liberation Army’s organizing of actual combat exercises in the Taiwan Strait is a necessary action to address the current security situation in the Taiwan Strait and to safeguard national sovereignty," spokesman Ma Xiaoguang said, according to Reuters. "The PLA’s military exercises and training operations are sending a signal that our determination to curb Taiwan independence and Taiwan-U.S. collusion is not just talk."

The strait, or island, is in the strategic and disputed South China Sea.

The increased military operation occurs at the same time unofficial envoys for President Biden are set to meet with Taiwan President Tsai Ing-Wen to affirm the United States' support for the island nation and its democracy.

Former Connecticut Democratic Sen.Chris Dodd and former Deputy Secretaries of State Richard Armitage and James Steinberg arrived in Taiwan on Wednesday in an unmarked private jet, in what a White House official called a “personal signal” of the president’s commitment to Taiwan and its democracy, the wire service also reports.

China is openly opposed to the talks and the U.S. support for Taiwan.

"We resolutely oppose the U.S. exaggeration of the so-called ‘Chinese military threat’ argument, and resolutely oppose the U.S. playing the ‘Taiwan card’ and continuing to send wrong signals to Taiwan independence forces," the spokesman also said.

In the Taiwanese city of Taipei, on Monday, 25 Chinese air force planes were reportedly spotted – including fighter jets and nuclear-capable bombers.Their having entering Taiwan's air defense identification zone, would making it the largest incursion of Chinese military into Taiwanese sovereign space.