Conflicts: Warning to Taiwan: China holds major military exercise

Conflicts: Warning to Taiwan: China holds major military exercise

China’s military regularly exercises off Taiwan’s coast. But an event a few days ago particularly angered the Communist Party in Beijing. The large-scale maneuver is not just intended to be a signal to Taiwan.

A few days after the inauguration of the new president in Taiwan, China has announced a large-scale military exercise around the East Asian island republic. “This is also a harsh punishment for the separatist forces of Taiwan’s independence and a serious warning against interference and provocation by external forces,” said the spokesman for the Eastern Association of the People’s Liberation Army, Marine Colonel Li Xi.

The army, navy, air force and missile forces would hold exercises in the strait between China and Taiwan (Taiwan Strait) – which is around 130 kilometers wide at its narrowest point – and around Taiwan. The exercise is likely to be the largest in about a year.

According to the information, the military wants to train joint combat readiness on water and in the air as well as attacks on key targets. Ships and planes would approach Taiwan from the north and south for “patrols” and would also come close to several islands, such as the island of Kinmen, just a few kilometers from mainland China.

Taiwan speaks of “irrational provocation”

Taiwan’s Defense Ministry condemned the military exercise as an “irrational provocation” that endangers peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait. The armed forces on land, sea and in the air were deployed to defend “freedom and democracy with practical actions,” Taipei said. The ministry did not provide any further details about the measures.

China considers Taiwan a breakaway province, even though independent and democratically elected governments have been in power there for decades. The leadership in Beijing has already threatened several times to unite the island, which has a population of more than 23 million, and the mainland using coercive military force. In addition to regular exercises by the armed forces, fighter jets fly to Taiwan almost daily to demonstrate the military might of the People’s Liberation Army.

Also a warning signal to the West

The background to the now announced exercise is likely to be the inauguration of the newly elected Taiwanese President Lai Ching-te. His Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) won the presidential election in January and supports Taiwan’s independence. The ruling Communist Party in Beijing accuses the DPP of separatism.

The warning is also likely to apply to Taiwan’s allies, particularly the United States, which has promised the island republic support in the event of a defense and regularly supplies it with weapons, much to Beijing’s annoyance.

Source: Stern

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