Threatened island nation of Taiwan – China launches three-day military exercise around Taiwan – News

  • The Chinese army is beginning a “combat preparation exercise” in the Taiwan Straits and airspace east of Taiwan today.
  • Beijing is reacting to the visit of Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen to the United States in mid-week.
  • Taiwan’s defense ministry reported 42 Chinese warplanes and eight ships near the island on Saturday.

The “battle preparation exercise” will take place from Saturday to Monday in the Taiwan Strait, north and south of the island and in the waters and airspace east of Taiwan, the Chinese army said.

The announcement came days after Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen’s visit to the United States, who was received by US House Speaker Kevin McCarthy in California on Wednesday.

Legend:

View of the capital Taipei in March 2023. The small island state of Taiwan with 23.5 million people is only 180 kilometers east of China.

imago images/Matt Hunt

Beijing sharply criticized the meeting and had already relocated warships near Taiwan on Thursday. So the maneuver around the island is taking place amid tensions between China and its supporters, the United States.

maneuvers on water and in the air

Chinese warplanes momentarily crossed the sensitive median line of the Taiwan Strait, a busy shipping route. The Taiwanese Ministry of Defense reported a total of 42 Chinese fighter jets and eight ships.

A Chinese amphibious assault ship capable of transporting soldiers, ships and vehicles fired several artillery shells in Luoyan Bay as part of combat exercises. It is on the coast of Fujian province in southeast China and about 50 kilometers northwest of the Taiwan-controlled Matsu Islands. Nearby fishing boats and cargo ships bypassed the area of ​​operations.

China: “serious threat to separatist forces”

The Chinese Army’s East Command, which oversees the East China Sea and the Taiwan Straits, said patrols would be conducted in the shipping lane. There are also exercises north, south and east of Taiwan.

“This is a serious threat to the separatist forces in Taiwan and the collusion and provocations of foreign forces, and it is a necessary measure to defend national sovereignty and territorial integrity,” the Chinese military leadership said.

Taipei is under increasing pressure from Beijing. Since the split between China and Taiwan in 1949, Beijing has viewed the island as a breakaway territory that it wants to reunite with the mainland – if necessary using military force.

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