China is holding military exercises in the East China and South China seas near Taiwan this week.
The China Maritime Safety Administration on Sunday and yesterday issued notices warning against entering broad swaths of airspace and waters off the coast of Zhejiang and Guangdong provinces due to “military activity.”
The announcements said drills in the East China Sea were scheduled to run through Thursday and the ones in the South China Sea would end on Friday.
Photo: Screen grab from National Chungshan Institute of Science and Technology’s Web site
It did not offer details on the scale of the exercises or which military units were involved.
The announcement came days after a defense white paper said that Beijing would not rule out taking Taiwan by force to thwart any move toward Taiwanese independence.
The drills also come after the US Navy’s USS Antietam, a guided-missile cruiser, on Thursday conducted a routine transit through the Taiwan Strait.
In related news, the Chungshan Institute of Science and Technology yesterday conducted a live-fire drill at Jiupeng Air Base in Pingtung County, following a missile test there last week, the Ministry of National Defense said.
During the one-day drill, projectiles were fired over a range of 250km from the base into waters off eastern Taiwan at an “unlimited” altitude, ministry spokesman Shih Shun-wen (史順文) said.
Sources said the drill was similar to the live-fire exercises conducted at the base during the annual Han Kuang exercises.
Daily Air (德安航空), which operates services between Taitung and Orchid Island (Lanyu, 蘭嶼), yesterday canceled or rescheduled 16 flights between 7:50am and 5pm due to the exercise.
Additional reporting by CNA
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