China Launches Further Military Exercises Near Taiwan

China launches new military exercises near Taiwan
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A day after the expected conclusion of its largest-ever exercises in retaliation for U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taipei last week, China’s military launched new military maneuvers on Monday in the waters and airspace surrounding Taiwan.

China’s Eastern Theatre Command said that it will hold cooperative exercises with an emphasis on anti-submarine and sea assault operations, assuaging some security analysts’ and diplomats’ worries that Beijing would keep up the pressure on Taiwan’s defenses.

China, which considers the autonomous island to be its own, was incensed by Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan last week and reacted by conducting its first-ever test launch of a ballistic missile over Taipei and cutting off certain lines of communication with Washington.

Although Taiwan has previously loosened flying restrictions close to the six previous Chinese exercise regions encircling the island, the duration and exact location of the most recent drills are yet unknown.

Prior to the announcement of the most recent drills, Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen visited Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves of St. Vincent and the Grenadines when he was on a visit and expressed her admiration for his will to go despite military pressure from China.

“Recently, Prime Minister Gonsalves stated that he wouldn’t let the Chinese military exercises stop him from visiting friends in Taiwan. These remarks have really moved us “Tsai stated during a welcome ceremony in Taipei for Gonsalves.

Whether Tsai had invited Gonsalves before to or during Pelosi’s visit was not apparent. The Taiwanese foreign ministry responded, “We don’t discuss internal planning or conversations between countries.”

During the four previous days of the drills, Chinese warships, fighter aircraft, and drones conducted extensive maneuvers near the island in addition to the firing of 11 short-range ballistic missiles.

A source involved in security planning who is knowledgeable with the issue says that shortly after those drills finished on Sunday, around 10 warships from China and Taiwan, each, maneuvered closely along the Taiwan Strait’s unofficial middle line.

Chinese military drones, aircraft, and ships, according to Taiwan’s defense minister, have practiced attacking the island and its fleet. It claimed to have dispatched ships and planes to respond “appropriately”.

In the meantime, China’s defense ministry continued to put diplomatic pressure on the US while defending its decision to cancel military-to-military discussions in response to Pelosi’s visit.

According to a statement made by Wu Qian, a spokeswoman for the defense ministry, “the U.S. side completely instigated and caused the current difficult situation in the Taiwan Strait on its own initiative, and the U.S. side must take full responsibility and significant repercussions for this.”

Wu declared that communication must be sincere in order to succeed.

As Pelosi departed the area on Friday, China suspended official discussions involving theater-level commanders, defense policy coordination, and military maritime consultations.

Officials from the Pentagon, State Department, and White House criticized the action and called it an unwise overreaction.

Security analysts and diplomats fear that China’s shutting of some of its limited communication lines with the American military may increase the possibility of an unintentional escalation over Taiwan at a crucial time.

In the midst of the past week’s tensions, one American official noticed that Chinese officials had not returned calls from senior Pentagon officials, but they did not see this as a formal cutting of connections with important individuals like U.S. Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin.

In response to a direct question on such reports, Wu, a spokeswoman for the defense ministry, stated that “China’s related counter-measures are a required warning to the provocations of the United States and Taiwan, and a legitimate defense of national sovereignty and security.”

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