The Chinese military arm watching the area around Taiwan recently carried out six hours of nighttime bomber flight training, state media reported on Wednesday. The bombers were part of the People’s Liberation Army’s (PLA) Eastern Theatre Command, which supervises the situation across the Taiwan Strait and also part of the East China Sea. “More than 10 bombers of various types, equipped with weapons, took off in tandem. They reached the enemy location and simulated missile attack exercises,” mainland state broadcaster CCTV reported. The drills were carried out to test the PLA Air Force’s mobilisation and striking capabilities, the report said. Night drills have been ramped up since 2020, as the force seeks to enhance strike abilities for both day- and nighttime combat. It has launched a series of real-life military exercises in recent weeks, in a bid to intensify “realistic combat” training in the East China Sea as tensions boil over with Taiwan, which Beijing sees as breakaway territory to be reunited by force if needed. This has coincided with successive visits to Taiwan by American lawmakers stressing their support for the self-governed island, and repeated apparent fumbling from President Joe Biden on the US policy of “strategic ambiguity” on Taiwan, which the White House has then hastened to walk back. Visiting Asia for the first time as president last week, Biden reiterated that the US was willing to defend Taiwan in the event of a cross-strait attack, drawing angry reactions from Beijing. China military drill ‘a warning’ to Taiwan in wake of Biden defence pledge The Eastern Theatre Command said its combat-readiness patrols in air and sea territories near Taiwan this week were “ necessary action ” against “collusion” between Taiwan and the United States. In a statement on Wednesday, it accused Washington of hypocrisy on the Taiwan issue, saying its alleged support for advocates of Taiwan independence was a betrayal of US alignment with the one-China policy. “Taiwan is a part of China. The Eastern Theatre Command troops will continue to strengthen training to prepare for battle, raising its capacity to complete missions and resolutely thwart any foreign intervention and conspiracies on ‘Taiwan independence’,” Shi Yi, senior army colonel and Eastern Theatre Command spokesman, said. This came after Taiwan reported PLA sorties into its air defence zone on Monday and Tuesday, as the latest US delegation visited the island. Taipei responded with combat air patrol and radio warnings, and deployed its air-defence missile system to track the planes. Rising cross-strait military tensions have also stoked fears of risky miscommunication. A Taiwanese news channel sparked alarm in April when it mistakenly broadcast a mock report on an all-out PLA invasion. The partly government-owned station issued an apology for causing public panic and promised to punish those responsible.