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China starts major military drills around Taiwan

Reporter Dimtiri Bruyas
Release time:2024/05/23 11:34
Last update time:2024/05/23 11:34
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China starts major military drills around Taiwan (TVBS News) China starts major military drills around Taiwan
China starts major military drills around Taiwan (TVBS News)

TAIPEI (TVBS News) — China launched military drills around Taiwan early Thursday (May 23), marking a significant escalation in tensions just days after Lai Ching-te (賴清德) assumed office as Taiwan's new president.

The Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) announced the exercises as a direct response to what it calls "separatist acts of Taiwan independence forces" and a deterrent against "interference and provocation by external forces."

 

The drills, encompassing the Taiwan Strait and areas close to Taipei-controlled islands such as Kinmen, Matsu, Wuqiu, and Dongyin, signal Beijing's "strong punishment" for Taiwan's leadership and its supporters.

Taiwan's Ministry of Defence swiftly condemned the military maneuvers as "irrational provocations," deploying naval, air, and ground forces to safeguard the island's sovereignty.

The ministry criticized the drills for displaying China's "aggressive militaristic mentality" and undermining global peace, especially in the Taiwan Strait.
 

Meanwhile, China's military emphasized that the exercises aim to enhance its joint sea-air combat readiness, precision strikes, and integrated operations, testing its "joint real combat capabilities."

Rising Tensions
The backdrop to these drills is a complex interplay of political statements and military posturing. Beijing has intensified its claim over Taiwan, labeling President Lai a "separatist" and "troublemaker."

This stance was reiterated following Lai's election victory in January, with Beijing dismissing his calls for dialogue. In his inauguration address, President Lai appealed to China to "stop threatening Taiwan," a plea that Beijing rebuffed, with Foreign Minister Wang Yi branding Lai "disgraceful."

The military exercises also come after a year of increased Chinese military activity around Taiwan, including a surge in military incursions in the weeks leading up to Lai's inauguration.

Li Xi, a spokesperson for the PLA, framed the drills as necessary to counteract Taiwan's independence efforts and external interference. This military activity not only highlights the strained cross-strait relations but also raises concerns about regional stability and the international response to China's assertive posture.

As tensions between China and Taiwan reach a new peak, the international community watches closely. The military drills underscore the fragile balance in the Taiwan Strait and the broader implications for global peace and security.

 
With both sides standing firm on their positions, the path forward remains uncertain, leaving room for further developments in this complex geopolitical landscape.

Taiwan Affairs

Asia-Pacific News

#Taiwan Strait# military drills# China Taiwan relations# Lai Ching-te# PLA exercises# Taiwan independence# cross-strait tensions# Taiwan’s defense response# China’s military strategy# Taiwan sovereignty protection

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