The People’s Liberation Army of China on Wednesday described organizing combat drills in the waters and airspace around Taiwan to send a blunt message to the United States over its “collusion” with Taiwan.
China’s announcement was short on details, and ambiguous as to whether such drills had taken place recently or were still to come. But it came a day after China and Russia sent bombers over the seas in northeast Asia, their first joint military exercise since Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.
China insists that Taiwan is a part of its territory and cannot exist as a sovereign nation. Russia’s war in Ukraine has made U.S. and Taiwanese officials acutely aware that an autocrat can order an invasion of a neighboring territory at any moment. During a visit to Japan on Monday, Mr. Biden said that the United States had a “commitment” to get involved militarily to defend Taiwan if it were ever attacked by China, drawing a firm line at a time of rising tensions.
China has increased its incursions near Taiwan over the past year. Last week, on the day that Mr. Biden arrived in Asia, China sent 14 aircraft into the island’s air defense zone. Under Mr. Biden, the Pentagon has divulged more details about the sailings of American warships through the Taiwan Strait. Some analysts have worried that could lead to an accident that could trigger conflict.
On Wednesday, China described organizing drills near Taiwan as a “solemn warning to the recent collusion between the United States and Taiwan.”
“It is hypocritical and futile for the United States to say one thing and do another on the Taiwan issue and frequently encourage and support ‘Taiwan independence’ forces,” the spokesman for China’s Eastern Theater Command, Senior Col. Shi Yi, said in an online statement.
The statement described a multiservice effort that combined “combat readiness” patrols with “actual combat drills.”
In response, a spokesman for Taiwan’s Defense Ministry said that the “current situation is normal.” The ministry said this assessment was based on the military’s intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance efforts.
Chinese and Russian officials have been strengthening their military ties in recent years, and the two nations have been growing closer in part because of the personal bond between China’s top leader, Xi Jinping, and President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia. Mr. Putin has pursued those stronger ties as he aims to oppose Western dominance.