The Chinese military is taking decisive action to thwart Taiwan separatist forces and their collusion with foreign powers to undermine China's sovereignty and territorial integrity, the Ministry of National Defense said on Thursday.
Senior Colonel Tan Kefei, a spokesman for the ministry, made the remark in response to claims by the island's Democratic Progressive Party that the Chinese mainland is increasing its military presence in the Taiwan Straits, such as by flying more than 940 warplanes in the region this year.
The root cause of the rising tension in the Straits is the collusion between the DPP, Taiwan separatists and foreign powers who are using the island as a tool to contain China, Tan said.
"It is the People's Liberation Army's solemn duty to safeguard national sovereignty and foil the ploys of Taiwan separatists," he said.
This year, the Chinese military launched numerous routine patrols around Taiwan with bombers, reconnaissance planes and fighter jets, he said. The PLA also organized multiple military forces to conduct joint combat readiness patrols near the island.
The PLA has also organized routine joint assault drills on maritime and land targets, joint air defense exercises and other trainings aimed to mimic actual combat, Tan said.
"The actual number of planes dispatched will be higher than the number hyped by the DPP, not lower," Tan said.
The PLA's objective is to thwart plans challenging the one-China principle by Taiwan separatists and foreign powers, Tan said.
"The PLA will adamantly safeguard national sovereignty and territorial integrity, and take concrete actions to protect the shared prosperity of people from both sides of the straits as well as peace and stability in the region," he said.