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Conflicts: China ends military exercise around Taiwan

Conflicts: China ends military exercise around Taiwan

During two days of maneuvers, China’s army simulated a blockade and takeover of the democratic island republic of Taiwan. More fighter jets were deployed than ever before this year.

China has ended its large-scale military exercise around Taiwan. State media described the two-day maneuvers as successful. Taiwan’s Defense Ministry had previously registered 62 Chinese fighter planes around the island – more in one day than ever before this year.

47 of the aircraft also entered Taiwan’s air defense zone – another record. The highest number of aircraft so far this year was recorded on May 15th, with 45 aircraft. China sends military aircraft to Taiwan almost daily to maintain pressure on the democratic island republic.

The Chinese leadership considers democratic Taiwan to be part of its territory and threatens to conquer it in order to achieve “reunification”. With the military exercise on Thursday and Friday, China’s People’s Liberation Army also wanted to simulate a possible blockade. A military expert spoke on Chinese television about how the aim was, among other things, to stop energy imports “as a lifeline” to Taiwan and to cut off escape routes for Taiwan’s politicians abroad.

Exercise also to intimidate after inauguration of new president

During the maneuvers, the People’s Liberation Army also said it rehearsed its ability to take over the island. Operations were being carried out “to test the command’s ability to jointly take control of the battlefield, conduct joint attacks and take control of key areas,” Chinese state media quoted a military spokesman as saying.

The large military exercise was also intended to intimidate and took place just three days after the inauguration of Taiwan’s new president, Lai Ching-te. His Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) won the presidential election in January and advocates a course critical of Beijing. The ruling Communist Party in Beijing accuses the DPP of separatism.

China’s leadership described the military exercises as a warning to President Lai against striving for formal independence for Taiwan from China. All separatist forces in Taiwan would be “crushed in the face of the historical development of a complete reunification of China,” said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin.

EU criticizes Chinese military exercises

The EU reacted critically to China’s large-scale maneuver. China’s military activities “are increasing tensions,” said a spokesman for EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell. Peace and stability in the straits between China and Taiwan are of strategic importance for regional and global security and prosperity. All sides should exercise restraint and avoid any actions that could further exacerbate tensions. Conflicts must be resolved through dialogue.

China considers Taiwan to be part of its territory, although independent and democratically elected governments have been in power there for decades. The leadership in Beijing repeatedly threatens to forcibly unite the island, which has a population of more than 23 million, and the mainland using military means.

In addition to regular exercises by the armed forces, such as those carried out over the past two days, fighter jets fly towards Taiwan almost every day to demonstrate the determination of the Beijing leadership and the military capabilities of the People’s Liberation Army.

Source: Stern

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