China Launches Military Exercises Near Taiwan


China Launches Further Military Exercises Near Taiwan

Chinese officials from the Eastern Theatre Command said that they would do joint drills with an emphasis on anti-submarine and sea assault operations, assuaging some security experts’ and diplomats’ worries that Beijing would keep up the pressure on Taiwan’s defences.

China, which considers the autonomous island to be its own, was incensed by Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan last week and reacted by conducting its first-ever test launch of a ballistic missile over Taipei and cutting off certain lines of communication with Washington.

Although Taiwan has previously relaxed flying restrictions close to the six previous Chinese exercise regions encircling the island, the length and exact location of the most recent exercises are yet unknown.

China’s military announced fresh military drills on Monday in the seas and airspace around Taiwan — a day after the scheduled end of its largest ever exercises to protest against last week’s visit to Taipei by U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Although Taiwan has previously loosened flying restrictions close to the six previous Chinese exercise regions encircling the island, the length and exact location of the most recent exercises are yet unknown.

Before announcing the most recent exercises, Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen visited Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves of St. Vincent and the Grenadines when he was on a visit and expressed her admiration for his will to visit despite military pressure from China.

“Prime Minister Gonsalves has expressed in recent days that the Chinese military drills would not prevent him from visiting friends in Taiwan. These statements have deeply touched us,” Tsai said at a welcome ceremony for Gonsalves in Taipei.

Whether Tsai had invited Gonsalves before or during Pelosi’s visit was not apparent. When questioned by Reuters, the Taiwanese foreign ministry said, “We don’t disclose internal planning or communications between governments.”

During the four previous days of the drills, in addition to the 11 short-range ballistic missiles fired, Chinese warships, fighter planes, and drones made extensive manoeuvres around the island.

According to a source engaged in security planning who is acquainted with the situation, just before those exercises finished on Sunday, around 10 vessels from China and Taiwan, each moved closely about the informal middle line of the Taiwan Strait.

Military Discussions Are Suspended

Chinese military drones, planes, and ships, according to Taiwan’s defence minister, have practised strikes on the island and its fleet. It claimed to have dispatched ships and planes to respond “appropriately.”

In the meanwhile, China’s defence ministry continued to put diplomatic pressure on the US while justifying its decision to cancel military-to-military discussions in opposition to Pelosi’s visit.

“The current tense situation in the Taiwan Strait is entirely provoked and created by the U.S. side on its own initiative, and the U.S. side must bear full responsibility and serious consequences for this,” defence ministry spokesman Wu Qian said in an online post.

“The bottom line cannot be broken, and communication requires sincerity,” Wu said.

As Pelosi departed the area on Friday, China suspended official discussions involving theatre-level commanders, defence policy coordination, and military maritime consultations.

Officials from the Pentagon, State Department, and White House criticised the action and called it an irresponsible overreaction.

Security experts and diplomats fear that China’s shutting off some of its limited communication lines with the American military may increase the possibility of an unintentional escalation over Taiwan at a crucial time.

In the midst of the tensions last week, one American official noticed that Chinese officials had not returned calls from top Pentagon officials, but they did not see this as a formal cutting of connections with senior leaders like U.S. Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin.

Asked directly about those reports, defence ministry spokesman Wu said, “China’s relevant counter-measures are a necessary warning to the provocations of the United States and Taiwan, and a legitimate defence of national sovereignty and security.”

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