Taiwan, China simulates attacks and bombings. Last day of military exercises

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Third and final day of China’s military exercises around Taiwan. Beijing explained that it had “simulated attacks against key targets” on the island and in the waters surrounding it. In the past few hours, at least 70 Chinese aircraft and 11 warships have approached Taiwan. Meanwhile, a US warship is in transit in the South China Sea.

China’s exercises and simulated attacks

China’s state broadcaster CCTV said Chinese fighter planes and warships simulated attacks and bombing raids against Taiwan on both the first and second day of military exercises, with Chinese forces encircling the island. China added that its fighter jets equipped “with real weapons” have conducted “simulated attacks” near Taiwan as part of operations that, also engaging the Shandong aircraft carrier, tested “a blockade around the island”. In a statement, the Chinese People’s Liberation Army’s Eastern Theater Command pointed out that multiple H-6K fighter jets, “carrying live ammunition, carried out multiple waves of simulated attacks on important targets in Taiwan.” He then confirmed that the aircraft carrier Shandong “participated in the exercises”.

The reactions

The military exercises were decided by China in response to Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen’s meeting in California with US House Speaker Kevin McCarthy. The exercises drew condemnation from Taipei and calls for restraint from Washington, which said it was “closely monitoring Beijing’s actions”. Dubbed “Joint Sword,” the three-day exercise – which includes rehearsals of an encirclement of Taiwan – will conclude today, China’s People’s Liberation Army’s eastern theater command said. Taipei’s Defense Ministry also confirmed the presence of at least 70 Chinese aircraft and 11 warships around the island. In addition, 35 aircraft crossed the median line of the Taiwan Strait and reached the Air Defense Identification Area (Adiz) southwest and southeast of Taiwan, including 4 J-15s.

US warship in the South China Sea

Meanwhile, the US Navy reported that its USS Milius guided missile destroyer conducted a mission on navigational rights and freedoms in the South China Sea, near the Spratly Islands, claimed by Beijing. The US Navy said the destroyer’s “operation complies with international law”. According to Beijing, however, the destroyer “illegally entered the waters near the Chinese Meiji reef in Nansha, in the South China Sea”. The Southern Theater Command of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army said through a spokesman that it had organized naval and air forces to “track and monitor” the vessel.