BEIJING, Dec. 30 -- Since the beginning of this year, the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) has organized normalized patrols around the Taiwan island, with a view to act decisively against the ill deeds challenging the one-China principle by forces on and out of the island, and defend China's national sovereignty and territorial integrity, a Chinese defense spokesperson said on Thursday.
Senior Colonel Tan Kefei, spokesperson for China's Ministry of National Defense, made the remarks at a regular media briefing when asked to comment on the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) authorities' hype about the number of aircraft dispatched by the PLA in patrols around the Taiwan island.
Tan said that since the beginning of this year, the PLA has dispatched bombers, reconnaissance aircraft, and fighter jets to carry out normalized patrols around the Taiwan island, routine joint combat readiness patrols around the island with multiple arms and services, and carried out normalized realistic combat exercises on joint sea assault, joint land strike and joint air defense operations in the air and sea spaces around the island. The actual number of aircraft dispatched can only be more than the number speculated by the DPP authorities, stressed Tan. "Our goal is very clear," Tan said, "That is, to act decisively against the ill deeds challenging the one-China principle by forces on and out of the island, resolutely defend China's national sovereignty and territorial integrity, and earnestly safeguard the common well-being of compatriots, as well as peace and stability, on both sides of the strait."
Tan stressed that, the root cause of the current escalation of tensions across the Taiwan Strait lies in the provocations of the DPP authorities and the "Taiwan independence" separatist forces, and the attempts by external forces to use Taiwan to contain China. The PLA is duty-bound to safeguard China's national sovereignty and security and curb separatist acts by "Taiwan independence" forces.