China Bans Vessel Movements Near Taiwan Because Of Falling Rocket Debris

China banned vessels from entering an area close to self-ruled Taiwan on Sunday owing to falling rocket debris, per the announcement of a provincial maritime authority on Thursday, as tensions remained high due to just-concluded large-scale drills and continuing patrolling by China’s military.

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Relevant Chinese authorities have not released the details of operations that are going to disrupt the international passage of vessels on Sunday, with relevant Taiwan authorities mentioning that almost 33 flights could be impacted by this ban.

The area around 160 km from Taipei will be shut from 9 am to 3 pm, China’s eastern Fujian province’s maritime safety administration mentioned on Thursday, adding that the vessels would be “forbidden to enter” during the shutdown.

China’s foreign ministry refused to share more information on Thursday, including if a no-fly zone would be imposed, with Wang Wenbin, a spokesperson, informing reporters at a regular briefing to refer to “competent authorities”.

Reports from Taiwan mentioned on Wednesday that China had reportedly scaled down its plans for a no-fly zone close to the island following Taipei’s complaints regarding risks associated with flight safety.

It was this Monday that Beijing declared the end of three days of military drills around Taiwan, which it claims as part of the country’s territory and has pledged to merge it with the mainland, if necessary, by force.

The “Joint Sword” manoeuvres came as a response to Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen’s visit to the US last week, where she met House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and a team of bipartisan lawmakers.

The drills around the island have ended. However, the routine patrolling, as well as testing of equipment by the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN), has continued, per the Chinese state media.

On Tuesday, several warships of China attached to the PLAN’s Eastern Theater Command continued its realistic combat-oriented exercises in the waters surrounding the island of Taiwan, testing command abilities and the performance of equipment and weapons, the state-run tabloid, per reports of Global Times.

Reference: Hindustan Times, CNN

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