June 20, 2024

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Taiwan condemns Chinese exercises and considers them “irrational provocations”

Taiwan condemns Chinese exercises and considers them “irrational provocations”
Comment on the photo, China described its maneuvers around Taiwan as “strong punishment” for “separatist acts.”

  • author, Kelly ng
  • Role, BBC News

Taiwan’s Defense Ministry has condemned Chinese military exercises around the self-governing island as “irrational provocations.”

The exercises come just three days after the inauguration of Taiwanese President William Lai, whom Beijing described as a “separatist” and “troublemaker.”

These events occur throughout the main island and the Taipei-controlled islands of Kinmen, Matsue, Wokyo, and Donjin.

A spokesman for the Chinese People’s Liberation Army described the measures as “strong punishment” for “separatist actions.”

Taipei sent naval, air and ground forces to “defend the country.” [island’s] The Ministry of Defense added.

The Chinese army said that its exercises focus on joint naval and air combat readiness patrols, precise strikes on key targets, and integrated operations inside and outside the island to test the “real joint combat capabilities” of its forces.

Military analysts say Taiwan’s remote islands near the Chinese coast have been listed as targets for the first time, based on maps released by the People’s Liberation Army.

Taiwanese media quoted military expert Chih Chung as saying that the ongoing exercises aimed to “simulate a large-scale armed invasion of Taiwan.”

Image source, Chinese state media

Comment on the photo, People’s Liberation Army map of ongoing exercises

Image source, Chinese media reports, marine areas

Comment on the photo, Training map in August 2022 after Nancy Pelosi’s visit

“[Thursday’s drills are] “This also constitutes a strong punishment for the separatist actions of Taiwan independence forces, and a stern warning against interference and provocation by external forces,” the People’s Liberation Army said.

China has long claimed self-governing Taiwan as part of its territory, but the island considers itself distinct.

Beijing denounced the speech, with Foreign Minister Wang Yilai calling it “disgraceful.”

After Lai won the election last January, Beijing issued a statement affirming that “Taiwan is part of China.” It has also repeatedly rejected Mr Lai’s offers for talks.

Taiwan said Thursday’s drills were a “highlight.” [Beijing’s] Military mentality.

“In recent years, the continuous harassment by Chinese aircraft and ships has greatly harmed global peace and stability.

The Taiwan Defense Ministry said that these military exercises not only fail to contribute to peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait, but also highlight the Chinese military’s aggressive military mentality.

Taiwan’s presidential office said it was “unfortunate” to see China “using unilateral military provocations to threaten democracy and freedom in Taiwan.”

She added that Taiwanese military units and the national security team have a “comprehensive understanding of the situation.”

Over the past year, China has repeatedly trained to surround Taiwan with fighter jets and naval ships. In the weeks leading up to Lai’s inauguration, Taiwan reported a slight increase in Chinese military incursions.

So far, the maneuvers have not reached the level of an invasion and have remained within a gray area.

Analysts told the BBC that gray zone warfare tactics aim to weaken an opponent over a long period – and that is exactly what China is trying to do with Taiwan.

With Robert Wingfield Hayes reporting in Taipei