China says aim of its drills near Taiwan is to combat 'arrogance' of separatists


China's recent drills near Taiwan are aimed at combating the "arrogance" of separatist forces, the Chinese government said on Wednesday, after Taipei reported a rise in military activity in recent weeks, including exercises on land facing the island.

Taiwan, which China claims as its own territory, has said this month that it had observed dozens of fighters, drones, bombers and other aircraft, as well as warships and the Chinese aircraft carrier Shandong, operating nearby.

Asked at a regular news briefing in Beijing about the rise in Chinese drills, and Taiwan's concerns about increased risk, China's Taiwan Affairs Office spokeswoman Zhu Fenglian said the People's Liberation Army had carried out a "series" of drills.

"The purpose is to resolutely combat the arrogance of Taiwan independence separatist forces and their actions to seek independence," Zhu said.