Chinese Navy Drills Near Taiwan Following F-16 Sales by US

Beijing is set to perform new military exercises in the East China Sea later this week, as Taiwan pens a deal to buy dozens of advanced F-16V Viper fighters from the US.

The sea east of Zhejiang Province will be closed from Tuesday through Thursday as the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) carries out its third set of military exercises near Taiwan in a month’s time.

It’s unknown how big the drills will be or which warships will take part, but the Global Times noted it would be a “live-fire drill.”

Last week, Washington signed off on a much anticipated sales agreement that will see Taipei armed with F-16V Viper Block 70 aircraft, one of the most advanced iterations of the jet, for $8 billion. It will be the largest weapons sale to the island by the US since 1992.

The move enraged Beijing.

China urges the US to fully recognise the highly sensitive and harmful nature of the relevant issue, abide by the one-China principle and the three China-US joint communiqués, refrain from selling F-16 fighter jets to Taiwan and stop arms sales to and military contact with Taiwan,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said in an August 18 statement following news the US would approve the deal.

The governments in Taipei and Beijing both adhere to the One-China Policy and expect other countries to do the same. The two forces represent opposite sides of the Chinese Civil War, which the communist Red Army won in 1949 under the direction of Mao Zedong, founding the…

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