The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) says it has intensified “realistic combat” exercises in the East China Sea , as Beijing’s tensions with Taiwan boil over. The PLA Eastern Theatre Command on Tuesday revealed the details of a recent navy strike group drill, with a post on the naval unit’s official social media account saying the exercises were “closely related to the [PLA Navy’s] missions and tasks, focused on combat enemies and highlighted actual combat conditions”. The training included more than 10 kinds of drills, such as close-in gun defence, main gun attack on the sea, tracking and surveillance, damage control, and search and rescue operations, according to the post. “This training … helped the troops to further improve their capability and toughness in combat to win battles,” the command said. “East China Sea sailors are always ready for battle.” The command did not specify the time and location of the training, but named two warships in the flotilla – Type 054 frigate the Wenzhou and a Type 056 corvette , the Deyang. The drills appeared to be a follow-up to a series of PLA joint forces exercises in the waters and airspace around Taiwan, launched in response to a visit to the island by a bipartisan group of US lawmakers, who sought to reassure Taipei of Washington’s support in the event of an attack from mainland China. Right after news of the visit broke, it was reported that the Deyang and a frigate were launching “high-intensity, full-load training” exercises. Eastern Theatre Command spokesman Shi Yi had said at the time that the show of power was a warning against the “false signals sent out by the US on the Taiwan issue”. Beijing considers self-ruled Taiwan to be a breakaway province from the days of the unresolved Chinese civil war, to be taken back by force if necessary. Washington, while switching recognition to Beijing in 1979, has retained – and stepped up in recent years – its close ties with the government in Taipei. US playing with fire over Taiwan, Beijing warns as it slams lawmakers’ trip Following the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February, calls in Washington to provide more security support to Taipei have grown louder, further worsening the atmosphere over the Taiwan Strait and East China Sea. On Monday, the Chinese aircraft carrier Liaoning led a large strike group of seven warships into the western Pacific for “routine training”. The USS Abraham Lincoln carrier strike group is currently deployed in the Philippine Sea, not far from the Chinese flotilla.