China’s increased aggression towards Taiwan culminated in a series of military aerial exercises meant to intimidate the island nation over the weekend.

Bombers flown by the People’s Liberation Army flew in the country’s Qinghai province during a nine-hour exercise which involved live ammunition and bombardments. 

The exercise prompted a statement from Taiwan, the United States and Japan, urging for peace in the region. 

“We underscore the importance of peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait and encourage the peaceful resolution of cross-Strait issues,” the statement said.

In response, China accused the allied nations of undermining peace and threatening China’s ability to defend itself. 

A recent decision by the Canadian government to support awarding Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-Wen with the prestigious international human rights Halifax Security Forum John McCain Prize prompted a similar angry response from Chinese authorities. 

Prior reports indicated that the Liberal government attempted to intervene and prevent the award from being given to Taiwan. An eventual vote in the House of Commons to support Taiwan as the recipient eventually received cross-partisan approval. 

“China deplores and rejects the wrong motion related to Taiwan passed by the Canadian House of Commons,” said China’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian.

“The ‘One China’ principle is the political foundation of China-Canada relations and a solemn commitment by the Canadian government.”

Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs called the consideration of President Tsai as the recipient an “honor” for the country. 

“[The Ministry of Foreign Affairs] believes that if the Halifax International Security Forum (HFX) confers the prize upon President Tsai, it would be an affirmation and honor for both President Tsai and the people of Taiwan in their anti-pandemic efforts and democratic achievements,” said Ministry spokeswoman Joanne Ou. 

“However, on the basis of democratic principles and respect for the HFX, Taiwan will respect the HFX’s decision regarding the prize.”

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