Taiwan’s military on Tuesday conducted a live ammunition artillery drill simulating the island’s defense against a Chinese invasion that the island accuses Beijing of planning.
Taiwan’s military on Tuesday conducted a live ammunition artillery drill simulating the island’s defense against a Chinese invasion that the island accuses Beijing of planning. An AFP reporter on the spot saw the start of operations in Pingtung County (south) shortly after 00:40 GMT, with flares and artillery fire. The maneuvers ended around 01:30 GMT, said Lou Woei-jye, spokesman for Taiwan’s Eighth Corps.
Several hundred soldiers were deployed, as well as about 40 howitzers, the army said. A new exercise is scheduled for Thursday. China launched its largest military air and sea maneuvers around Taiwan last week in response to a visit by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the highest-ranking US official to visit the self-governing island since decades.
Beijing “used the exercises and its military roadmap to prepare for the invasion of Taiwan”, accused the head of Taiwan’s diplomacy, Joseph Wu, during a press conference in Taipei after the Taiwanese maneuvers. “China’s real intention is to alter the status quo in the Taiwan Strait and across the region,” he added. “It conducts large-scale military exercises and missile launches, as well as cyberattacks, disinformation campaign and economic coercion to weaken people’s morale in Taiwan,” he continued.
China considers Taiwan, with a population of around 23 million, to be one of its provinces, which it has yet to successfully reunify with the rest of its territory since the end of the Chinese Civil War (1949 ). Lou Woei-jye had assured Monday that the Taiwanese exercises were already scheduled and that it was not a response to the Chinese maneuvers in progress. The island regularly holds military exercises simulating a Chinese invasion.
Biden ‘not worried’
The Taiwan drills come after China extended its own joint sea and air maneuvers around the island on Monday. The Chinese military confirmed exercises were continuing on Tuesday, involving air and sea units. The People’s Liberation Army’s Eastern Theater Command said in a statement that it was conducting training exercises around the island, “focusing on joint blockade and support operations.” For Washington, the risk of escalation from Beijing is low. “I’m not worried, but I’m concerned that they’re fussing around so much. But I don’t think they’re doing more than what they’re doing,'” President Joe said. Biden to reporters.
Joseph Wu did not fail to thank his Western allies during his press conference, including Nancy Pelosi, for standing up to China. “It also sends a clear message to the world that democracy will not yield to the bullying of authoritarianism,” he said. No Chinese warplanes or ships entered Taiwan’s territorial waters – within 12 nautical miles of land – during the Beijing drills, Taiwan said.
Last week, however, the Chinese military released a video of an Air Force pilot filming the island’s coast and mountains from his cockpit, showing how close he had come. Taiwanese coasts. Ballistic missiles were also fired over the Taiwanese capital, Taipei, during exercises last week, according to Chinese state media. The People’s Liberation Army’s Eastern Theater Command said maritime patrol aircraft, fighter jets, helicopters and a destroyer had practiced locating and attacking targets in the waters off Taiwan. The scale and intensity of China’s exercises, as well as its withdrawal from international climate and defense negotiations, have sparked outrage in the United States and other Western countries. But Beijing on Monday defended its behavior, calling it “firm, forceful and appropriate” in the face of US provocation. “(We) are only issuing a warning to those responsible” for this crisis, Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said at a press briefing, promising that China would “firmly break the illusion of the Taiwanese authorities to obtain independence through the United States”.