Taiwan, China simulates strikes against key targets: aircraft and warships near island

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Tensions rise between Taiwan and China. During the Chinese military exercises, which began yesterday and lasted three days, “joint precision attacks were simulated against key targets on the island of Taiwan and in the surrounding waters”. This was reported by the Beijing state media. The CCTV broadcaster explained that the air force has deployed dozens of planes to “fly in the airspace of the target” and the ground forces have carried out exercises for “precision attacks on multiple targets”. According to Taiwan’s defense ministry, there are at least 11 Chinese warships and 71 aircraft around the island. The United States has urged China to “restraint”.

China’s exercises around Taiwan

Beijing, as mentioned, is engaged in three days of military exercises around the island. Already on the first day, he simulated attacks on “key targets in Taiwan”. The island’s defense ministry said it was monitoring “Chinese military movements through a joint intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance system.” He added that he counted at least 71 Chinese aircraft and 11 naval vessels making incursions into areas around Taiwan. The planes, he explained, included a mix of fighter jets and bombers. About 45 planes crossed the midline of the Formosa Strait, an unofficial border tacitly respected by Taipei and Beijing in recent decades, Taiwan said. Among the aircraft, the SU-30, J-10 and J-11 fighters. The island’s air force, the ministry added, is monitoring the situation with naval and air combat patrols and land-based missile systems.

The Taiwan-US meeting

The Chinese military exercises were decided in retaliation at a meeting on Wednesday in Los Angeles between the island’s president Tsai Ing-wen and US House Speaker Kevin McCarthy. A few hours after Tsai’s return to Taipei and above all after the restart of EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and French President Emmanuel Macron – both met in Beijing by President Xi Jinping, who also had a long private talks in Guangzhou – The Eastern Theater Command of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army announced a “combat readiness patrol”, with maneuvers in the Taiwan Strait, north, south and eastern waters, in a simulation of encirclement of the island that Beijing considers an “inalienable” part of its territory to be reunified even by force, if necessary. Operations that “serve as a severe warning against the collusion between separatist forces seeking ‘Taiwan independence’ and external ones, and against their provocative activities”, said Command spokesman Shi Yi, noting that the maneuvers “are necessary to safeguard China’s national sovereignty and territorial integrity”. Taiwan’s Defense Ministry has condemned Beijing and its “irrational act that has jeopardized regional security and stability”.

The previous

The exercises launched on Saturday are the second of their kind: in August 2022, Beijing launched 10 days of unprecedented military maneuvers around the island in response to a visit to Taipei by then US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. China opposes “any form of official exchange” between Taiwan and the United States and before the meeting in Los Angeles between Tsai and McCarthy had threatened the use of “resolute countermeasures”.