China's frequent military activity is causing regional instability, Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen said yesterday, adding that the island's forces have been keeping a close eye on what they are up to.
Beijing has repeatedly said its drills, which have also taken place in the disputed South China Sea and the Sea of Japan, are routine and not aimed at any third party.
Tsai, speaking to senior military officers in Taipei, said the island wanted peace but could "not have a single day without combat preparedness."
"In this period of time, the frequent military activities of mainland China in East Asia have already affected safety and stability in the region to a certain extent," Tsai said. "Our country has always been a contributor to safety and stability in the region, this is why the national army has to keep an eye on movements of the Chinese military and take appropriate actions when needed to guarantee the safety of the country and region."
Chinese Defense Ministry spokesman Ren Guoqiang, speaking in Beijing, said that the drills would not have any negative impact upon the region and that the military's training would continue and become regular. "China's military development is a force for peace and stability in the region," said Rens. China has warned Taiwan against "using weapons to refuse reunification" and its state media has given a high profile to images of Chinese jets flying close to the island.