Live-fire drills to check 'Taiwan independence'
By Shan Jie
Global Times

Provocations by Taiwan’s leaders, others result in mainland’s stern warning

The Chinese mainland is firmly against "Taiwan independence," Ma Xiaoguang, a spokesperson for the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council said on Friday when asked if the planned drill on the Taiwan Straits is targeting "Taiwan independence."



"We would like to reaffirm that we have strong determination, confidence and capability to destroy any type of 'Taiwan independence' scheme in order to safeguard the country's sovereignty and territorial integrity," Ma said.

Fujian Maritime Safety Administration announced on Thursday the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) will conduct live-fire drills on the Taiwan Straits on Wednesday.

The announcement came after China's Central Military Commission held the country's largest ever maritime military parade in the South China Sea on Thursday, which for the first time featured the country's aircraft carrier strike group and the PLA's most advanced weaponry.

"The drill comes as the Taiwan authority has been obstinately promoting 'Taiwan independence,' especially considering that Taiwan leader Tsai Ing-wen and the island's administrative head Lai Ching-te keep spreading the idea," Song Zhongping, a military expert and TV commentator, told the Global Times on Friday.

"The mainland needs this targeted drill to punish the two," Song noted.

"The US has been containing China on the Taiwan question, and 'Taiwan independence' forces have been touching the bottom line of the one-China principle," Lü Cuncheng, a research fellow at the Institute of Taiwan Studies of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences said on Friday.

Tsai on Friday visited a naval base on the island and viewed a training, Singapore's Lianhe Zaobao reported.

A coalition of organizations known as the "Formosa Alliance" which has vowed to promote a referendum on a formal declaration of independence, was officially established last week in Taiwan.

Lai's recent remarks on independence are dangerous and presumptuous, said Ma from the Taiwan Affairs Office on April 2, the Xinhua News Agency reported. Ma made the comment in response to Lai's remarks advocating "Taiwan independence."

"The focus of the upcoming drill will be long-distance attacks and amphibious landing operations, which worries Taiwan the most," Song noted, adding that seizing control of the air and simulated attacks on key targets will also be conducted.

Using the PLA navy's comprehensive military powers to suppress "Taiwan independence" by blockading the entire island is likely the main point of the drill, Song noted.

"The drill is necessary for the development of the military of the Chinese mainland," Lü said. "The Chinese mainland should show its confidence and determination to hinder any 'Taiwan independence' scheme."