China: Military drills, flights were needed to defend Taiwan

FILE – In this undated file photo released by the Taiwan Ministry of Defense, a Chinese PLA J-16 fighter jet flies in an undisclosed location. China says a recent increase in military exercises and warplane missions near Taiwan are necessary to defend national sovereignty and territorial integrity. (Taiwan Ministry of Defense via AP, File)

BEIJING – China’s recent increase in military exercises and warplane missions near Taiwan — which have raised concerns around the region — were necessary to defend the nation’s sovereignty and territory, a Chinese official said Wednesday.