The Chinese military announced that it would hold three-day air and naval military exercises in the Taiwan Strait and around the island on Saturday morning. The drills kicked off shortly after Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen returned from a visit to the USA.
China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) conducted simulated precision strikes during the second day of its military drills around Taiwan on Sunday, Chinese state media has reported.
Under the unified command of the theater joint operations command center, multiple types of units carried out simulated joint precision strikes on key targets on Taiwan island and the surrounding sea areas, and continue to maintain an offensive posture around the island.
A UK news outlet, in turn, cited an unnamed source as saying that China had been conducting simulated air and sea attacks on foreign military targets in the waters off Taiwan’s southwestern coast.
The ministry reiterated that Taiwan’s forces will not escalate conflicts nor cause disputes and would respond appropriately to China’s drills.
This followed China announcing that its armed forces would be conducting military exercises from April 8-10 in the maritime area and airspace around Taiwan.
According to Beijing, the drill is a warning to supporters of Taiwan’s independence, as well as a measure to protect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of China.
The war games come days after Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen met with US House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and other lawmakers in Los Angeles during a visit to the US on her way back from Guatemala and Belize.
This is the second time in less than a year that a US House speaker met with Tsai, causing increasing tensions between the USA and the Taiwanese government on one hand, and China on the other.
In August 2022, Tsai met with McCarthy’s predecessor Nancy Pelosi when she traveled to Taipei. Beijing condemned that meeting and held similar military drills around the island.
Although the USA does not maintain formal diplomatic relations with Taiwan, which only six other countries do, Washington has a representative office in Taipei and remains the island’s biggest supplier of dangerous offensive military hardware.
The China-Taiwan tensions are also exacerbated by the USA repeatedly sending warships and surveillance planes to the Taiwan Strait, with Beijing slamming such missions as provocations and portraying Washington as “a security risk creator in the region.”
Beijing considers the island an integral part of the PRC, sticking to a policy of peaceful reunification under a One-China – Two Systems model.
Officially known as the Republic of China (ROC), Taiwan severed all ties with mainland China in 1949 following the Chinese Civil War, in which Mao Zedong’s communist forces of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) defeated the Kuomintang nationalists and forced them to flee to the island.
With both the ROC and the PRC claiming the country’s territory, the UN recognized the PRC as the one and only legal China in 1971.
Sputnik / ABC Flash Point WW III News 2022.