US State Department 'deeply concerned' over Chinese military drills near Taiwan

The United States is "deeply concerned" about the joint military drills China has conducted around Taiwan in recent days, U.S. State Department Spokesperson Matthew Miller said in a statement issued May 25.

China launched two days of military drills encircling Taiwan on May 23, in an act of retaliation following the inauguration of Taiwan's democratically-elected president Lai Ching-te, an advocate of Taiwanese independence.

"The United States is deeply concerned over the People's Liberation Army joint military drills in the Taiwan Strait and around Taiwan," Miller's statement read.

Miller said the state department was closely monitoring the situation in partnership with allies.

Fears of escalating Chinese military intervention in Taiwan have risen sharply since Russia launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine. The war has served as a possible model of how both Taipei and the international community might respond if Beijing decides to invade.

The U.S. state department urged China to "act with restraint" regarding the Taiwanese election.

"Using a normal, routine, and democratic transition as an excuse for military provocations risks escalation and erodes longstanding norms," Miller said.

China announced on May 22 that it was sanctioning 12 American military companies and 10 defense executives, partially in response to U.S. arms sales to Taiwan.

Read also: Taiwan’s FM: ‘If Russia can do that to Ukraine, China might do the same to Taiwan’

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