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Sunday, October 24, 2021

Chinese ‘shock’ troops storm beach near Taiwan in training exercise

The Chinese Communist Party claims the island democracy of 23.5 million as its own territory, even though it has never ruled there and Taiwan operates as an independent country with its own government, foreign policy and military.

Fujian province, where the drills took place, would be a key launching site for any Chinese invasion of Taiwan due to its geographical proximity.

Over the weekend, Xi Jinping, the Chinese president, and Tsai Ing-wen, Taiwan’s leader, went head-to-head in speeches outlining their opposing views on cross-Strait relations.

On Saturday, Mr Xi vowed to pursue “reunification” with Taiwan and warned against efforts to seek independence. On Sunday, Ms Tsai responded in her National Day address by saying Taiwan would not bow to Beijing’s pressure.

Over the weekend, a row also broke out between Tony Abbott, the former Australian prime minister, and the Chinese government after he criticised China’s human rights record under the “cult of the red emperor”.

The Chinese embassy in Canberra hit back, calling Mr Abbott a “failed and pitiful politician” and accusing him of a “despicable and insane performance in Taiwan”.

On Monday, Zhao Lijian, the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman, said Beijing had made “formal complaints” to Canberra.

China’s threats against Taiwan and increasingly belligerent foreign policy have raised alarm in global capitals.

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