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Taiwan vows to stay vigilant after Chinese military drills conclude

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Taiwan’s military conducts live-fire exercises in Pingtung County Tuesday. CNA photo Aug. 9, 2022

Taipei, Aug. 10 (CNA) Taiwan's Ministry of National Defense (MND) said it remains on high alert Wednesday following an announcement by the People's Liberation Army (PLA) indicating its military drills around the island concluded that day.

As of 5 p.m., 36 sorties by Chinese aircraft and 10 by PLA warships had been detected close to the Taiwan Strait median line on Wednesday, the MND said in a news release.

Of the intruding aircraft, 17 breached the Taiwan Strait median line -- nine S-30s and eight J-11s -- in what the PLA called "joint air and sea operations," the MND said.

In response, Taiwan deployed combat air patrol aircraft to warn away the intruding aircraft and locked onto them with air defense missiles, the MND added.

"The PLA Eastern Theater Command has accomplished its missions through the series of joint military exercises in the sea and air space around Taiwan," PLA Eastern Theater Command Spokesman Shi Yi (施毅) said earlier Wednesday in a statement, in reference to drills carried out by the PLA around Taiwan that ran from Aug. 4 to Tuesday in the wake of a 19-hour visit to Taiwan by U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi from Aug. 2 to Aug. 3.

In response to a statement by the PLA Eastern Theater Command Monday that exercises around Taiwan will become routine, the MND said it would remain vigilant and flexibly deploy troops based on the level of threat posed by the PLA and the tactics it employs.

China's provocative military drills around Taiwan gave the nation's troops an opportunity to "train and be combat-ready at all times," the MND said.

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