‘Taiwan must be trembling’ China takes swipe at US-Taipei relations amid Afghan crisis

China ‘first major nation to flag support for Taliban’ says expert

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Hu Xijin, the editor of state-affiliated Global Times, has warned Taiwan it would not receive protection from the US. The warning comes following the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan and the capture of Kabul.

He tweeted: “After the fall of the Kabul regime, the Taiwan authorities must be trembling.

“Don’t look forward to the US to protect them.”

Referring to China’s People’s Liberation Army, Mr Hu added: “Taipei officials need to quietly mail-order a Five-Star Red Flag from the Chinese mainland.

“It will be useful one day when they surrender to the PLA.”

Beijing regards Taiwan as a breakaway province which must be reunited with the Chinese mainland.

On Tuesday, the democratically ruled island nation launched a series of military drills which saw warships and fighter jets exercising off its southwest and southeast regions.

China said the drills were triggered by “external interference” and “provocations”.

In a statement, the PLA’s Eastern Theatre Command said warships, anti-submarine aircraft and fighter jets had been deployed close to Taiwan.

It explained their mission was to conduct “joint fire assault and other drills using actual troops”.

Taiwan’s Defence Ministry responded to Beijing with a brief statement.

It said: “The nation’s military has a full grasp and has made a full assessment of the situation in the Taiwan Strait region, as well as related developments at sea and in the air, and is prepared for various responses”.

A senior official acquainted with Taiwan’s security planning explained China’s air force had conducted a “capturing air supremacy” drill, using their advanced J-16 fighters.

The PLA statement said both the US and Taiwan had “repeatedly colluded in provocation and sent serious wrong signals, severely infringing upon China’s sovereignty, and severely undermining peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait”.

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