China says its recent military exercise around Chinese Taipei was a "serious warning" to interactions between the United States and the self-ruled island, as tensions continue to grow between Beijing and Washington.
The Chinese military made the remarks in a statement on Wednesday, a day after China and Russia conducted their first military exercise since Moscow launched its military operation in Eastern Ukraine, in the midst of a visit by US President Joe Biden to the region.
China-Russia joint strategic aerial patrol is not targeted at the third party, the military said.
On Tuesday, the nuclear-capable bombers of China and Russia conducted a joint flight over the Sea of Japan, East China Sea, and the Western Pacific, with Japanese Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi condemning the military exercise as “provocative” and “unacceptable.”
The exercises were conducted as Japan was hosting the leaders of the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (Quad) grouping of countries that includes Biden and leaders of Australia, Japan, and India.
The Quad – an informal grouping led by Washington – was formed in part to counter Chinese power in the Indo-Pacific region.
The joint military drills came a day after Biden said at a news conference with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida that he would be willing to use force to militarily defend Chinese Taipei if Beijing invades the self-ruled island.
In response to Biden’s threats, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said that Beijing was ready to defend its national interests over Taipei.
Biden, however, said later that US policy toward Taiwan had not changed, stressing that Washington still abides by the policy of “strategic ambiguity” toward the self-governed island.
The White House also later clarified that this would mean providing defensive weapons to Taiwan.
China has sovereignty over Chinese Taipei, and under the "One China" policy, almost all world countries recognize that sovereignty. The US, too, recognizes Chinese sovereignty over the island but has long courted Taipei in defiance of Beijing.
The United States, which backs Taipei's secessionist president, also continues to sell weapons to the island in violation of its own stated policy.
'Biden's remarks on Taiwan could trigger World War III'
Meanwhile, the British newspaper The Telegraph has reported that Biden's controversial statement over Taiwan could lead to World War III.
It went on to say that Biden had made a big mistake during his first presidential visit to the region with the promise to defend Taiwan from any military action by China.
Following Biden's words, the State Department was forced to explain to the whole world that the course of Washington’s foreign policy has not changed, but the chaos sown by the US president is far more dangerous, the newspaper said.
Tensions between Chinese Taipei and China have been at their highest in decades. China has been flying fighter jets close to Chinese Taipei while the US has reportedly had troops deployed in the territory for the past year for training purposes.
The US-China relations have grown increasingly tense in recent years, with the world's two largest economies clashing over a range of issues, including trade, Chinese Taipei, Hong Kong, military activities in the South China Sea, and the origins of the coronavirus.