China’s People’s Liberation Army has begun military exercises, including live fire in the waters and airspace around the island of Taiwan, Chinese state television reported Thursday.
The drills, which are spread across six locations, are scheduled to end at 12:00 p.m. (4:00 a.m. GMT) on Sunday.
The exercises followed US House Speaker Nancy Pelosis’ visit to Taiwan, a trip condemned by Beijing, which claims the self-governing island.
Significantly, the exercise areas to the north, east and south of Taiwan bisect a claimed 12 nautical miles of territorial waters – something Taiwanese officials say threatens the international order and amounts to a blockade of its sea and air space.
The sites are circling the island in an unprecedented formation, Meng Xiangqing, a professor at the National Defense University, told Chinese state television, describing how an actual military operation against Taiwan might play out.
“In fact, this has created very good conditions for us as we reshape our strategic landscape in the future to be conducive to our unification,” Meng said.
Chinese forces in two areas off Taiwan’s north coast could potentially seal off Keelung, a major port, while attacks could be launched from an area east of Taiwan on military bases in Hualien and Taidong, he said.
The “doors” to Kaoshiung could also be shut by the Chinese military off the southwest coast, Meng said.
https://www.independent.ie/news/chinese-military-begins-strategic-drills-around-taiwan-state-media-41888977.html Chinese military begins ‘strategic’ drills around Taiwan – state media