Military maneuvers to “punish” Taiwan

Military maneuvers to “punish” Taiwan
Military maneuvers to “punish” Taiwan
The Taiwanese Ministry of Defense “strongly condemned” these exercises and announced that it had “deployed maritime, air and land forces (…) to defend freedom, democracy and sovereignty” of the territory.

The spokesperson for the Taiwanese presidency deplored “the provocative military behavior” of Beijing.

These exercises come three days after Lai Ching-te’s inauguration speech. China judged these remarks as an “admission of Taiwan’s independence” and threatened the Taiwanese authorities with “retaliation”.

China considers Taiwan to be one of its provinces, which it has not yet managed to reunify with the rest of its territory since the end of the Chinese civil war in 1949 and the communists came to power.

The maneuvers began Thursday at 7:45 a.m. (11:45 p.m. GMT Wednesday) and are expected to last until Friday, Li Xi, the spokesperson for the Chinese army’s eastern theater, said in a statement.

They take place “in the Taiwan Strait, to the north, south and east of the island of Taiwan, as well as in the areas around the islands of Kinmen, Matsu, Wuqiu and Dongyin”.
These latter islands are located in the immediate vicinity of the Chinese east coast.

Beijing does not give up on reunification

The Chinese coast guard immediately announced that it had launched a “law and order exercise” near the Taiwanese islands of Wuqiu and Dongyin.

For its part, Taiwan took off four fighter planes from the Hsinchu base, about sixty kilometers southwest of Taipei, around 1 p.m. local time.

Footage released by the Taiwanese coast guard shows officers ordering Chinese ships to leave the area over a loudspeaker.

“Your movements are affecting the order and security of our country, please turn around and leave our restricted waters as soon as possible,” one of the officers proclaims in a video posted by the coast guard on social media.

The Taiwanese Coast Guard also deployed its fleet to sea.
These maneuvers constitute a “severe punishment for the separatist acts of the +Taiwan independence+ forces and a stern warning against interference and provocation by external forces,” Li Xi said.

China, led by the Communist Party, says it favors “peaceful” reunification with the democratically governed island territory of 23 million inhabitants. But it has never renounced the use of military force.

Washington considers the situation “worrying”

On Chinese state television CCTV, Zhang Chi, a professor at the National Defense University in Beijing, indicated that the maneuvers aimed to “impose an economic blockade on the island” by “strangling” the strategic port of Kaohsiung. for Taiwan.

Such a blockade makes it possible to cut off “vital energy imports for Taiwan” and “block the support that certain allies of the United States provide to the +independence forces of Taiwan+”, according to him.

Speaking in Canberra, US General Stephen Sklenka described the situation as “worrying”.

CCTV released a map showing the nine areas where the exercises are taking place. The closest to the island of Taiwan appears to be located less than 50 kilometers from the coast.
During his swearing-in on Monday, Lai Ching-te, described in the past as a “dangerous separatist” by Beijing, called on China to “cease its political and military intimidation”.

Taiwanese separatists “will be pilloried of shame for history,” Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi responded on Tuesday.

AFP

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