China on Thursday kicked off two days of joint military drills involving mock strikes around democratic Taiwan, in what Beijing said was a “strong punishment for separatist acts.”

The military exercises, which were being conducted in five areas around Taiwan and four spots near Taiwanese-controlled islands near the Chinese mainland, garnered a stern response from Taipei and came just days after the self-ruled island’s new president was sworn into office.

Li Xi, a spokesperson for the Chinese command, said military services including the army, navy, air force and rocket force were taking part in the joint drills, code-named Joint Sword-2024A, which began at 7:45 a.m. Thursday.