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China tracks US-South Korea air exercises with destroyer escort

The US and South Korea held extensive air exercises while the Chinese military escorted the USS Milius, a US Navy destroyer, in the Taiwan Strait. The Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Eastern Zone Combat Command spokesman, Shi Yi, reported that detachments were organized to escort and protect the USS Milius during its passage through the Taiwan Strait. Shi Yi emphasized that the Chinese military is always prepared to defend national sovereignty, security, and regional stability.

Tensions between China and Taiwan have a long history, dating back to the civil war between Kuomintang forces and the Communist Party of China in 1949. Although relations between the two parties have improved since the 1990s, tensions still persist. Meanwhile, the US and South Korea conducted combined air exercises involving more than 100 aircraft and over 1,400 soldiers.

According to Yonhap, the Korea Flying Training (KFT) will last for more than a week and take place at the Gwangju airbase, mobilizing more than 60 South Korean warplanes and around 40 American ones. Additionally, the US, South Korea, and Japan were conducting missile defense exercises in the international waters of the Sea of ​​Japan.

The joint air exercises by the US and South Korea came after North Korea launched an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), which prompted Japanese authorities to issue an evacuation order for Hokkaido residents and temporarily suspend high-speed trains and road transport in the northern part of the country. The missile launch was the ninth by North Korea this year, following 37 ballistic missile launches in 2022.

In conclusion, the air exercises conducted by the US and South Korea, and the escort of the USS Milius by the Chinese military, reflect the complex geopolitical situation in the region. Furthermore, North Korea’s continued missile launches remain a major concern for the international community.

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