HomePOPULARChina Conducts Military Drills Around Taiwan as "Punishment" for "Separatist Acts"

China Conducts Military Drills Around Taiwan as “Punishment” for “Separatist Acts”

Beijing: China commenced two days of extensive military drills around Taiwan on Thursday, deploying navy vessels and aircraft in a show of force described by state media as “strong punishment” for “separatist acts.” The military exercises follow the recent inauguration of Lai Ching-te as Taiwan’s new president.

China considers Taiwan a breakaway province and has labeled Lai a “dangerous separatist,” warning that his leadership could lead to “war and decline” for the island. Since the civil war in 1949, China has asserted its claim over Taiwan, maintaining the possibility of reunification by force.

Rising Tensions and Military Posturing

In recent years, relations between China and Taiwan have deteriorated, with China intensifying its military and political pressure on the democratic island, raising fears of a possible invasion. The latest drills, named Joint Sword-2024A, will focus on enhancing joint sea-air combat readiness, battlefield control, and precision strikes on key targets.

“The Eastern Theater Command of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) started joint military drills surrounding the island of Taiwan from 7:45 a.m. Thursday (2345 GMT),” reported Xinhua. The exercises are taking place in the Taiwan Strait and to the north, south, and east of the island, including the areas around Kinmen, Matsu, Wuqiu, and Dongyin islands.

Military spokesman Li Xi stated that the exercises are designed to test the PLA’s joint combat capabilities, involving vessel and aircraft patrols near Taiwan and integrated operations inside and outside the island chain. The drills are intended as a “stern warning” against separatist activities and external interference, Li Xi added.

The drills follow a pattern of military maneuvers in response to actions by Taiwan’s leadership and their interactions with the United States. Last August, China conducted similar drills after Lai, then vice president, made a stopover in the United States en route to Paraguay. Those drills aimed to demonstrate the PLA’s ability to control air and sea spaces under “real combat conditions.”

World powers closely monitor the stability between China and Taiwan due to the island’s crucial role in the global economy. The Taiwan Strait is a significant maritime trade route, and Taiwan is a leading manufacturer of semiconductors, essential components in various technologies from smartphones to missile systems.

As China continues its military posturing, the international community remains watchful of the developments in the Taiwan Strait, recognizing the potential for significant geopolitical and economic impacts.

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