China's military drills closely monitored: MND
ROC Central News Agency
Taipei, Aug. 10 (CNA) With China set to stage military drills in the Yellow Sea, the Ministry of National Defense (MND) said Friday that all military movements in that area have been and will continue to be closely monitored to safeguard Taiwan's safety.
"Taiwan's military has been and will continue to monitor all deployments of China's People's Liberation Army in that area and in the waters and skies near Taiwan," the MND said in a statement, adding that "the military is in full control of the situation in the areas around Taiwan and is ready to respond to any contingencies to ensure the safety of Taiwan and the region."
The MND urged the public to stay calm and not to panic over what it described as China's intended intimidation.
Earlier in the day, Presidential Office spokesman Alex Huang (黃重諺) assured the public that the military has made due deployments and full preparations of its own and urged the public not to be misled by unverified information.
China announced earlier in the day that it will stage military drills in waters off Qingdao, Shandong Province in the Yellow Sea from 6 p.m. Friday to 6 p.m. Monday and that all vessels are banned from sailing through the area.
The announcement came just two days before President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) is set to embark on a nine-day visit to Paraguay and Belize starting Sunday.
In April, China also conducted live-fire military exercises in the Taiwan Strait when Tsai was on a visit to eSwatini -- the only diplomatic ally of Taiwan in Africa.
China has stepped up its saber rattling on Taiwan since last year amid deteriorating cross-Taiwan Strait relations, after Tsai of the pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party came to power in May 2016.
(By Liu Lee-jung, Lu Hsin-hui and Flor Wang)
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