The Chinese regime simulated this Sunday attacks on “key targets” in Taiwan, on the second day of “total siege” military maneuvers scheduled until Monday, a “serious warning” according to Beijing after the Taiwanese president’s meeting with a senior US official.
Taiwan and the United States denounced the operation, called “Joint Sword”, and asked Xi Jinping for “restraint” while ensuring that they keep their communication channels with China open.
The maneuvers began after the president of Taiwan, Tsai Ing-wenwill meet on Wednesday in California with the speaker of the House of Representatives, Kevin McCarthy.
The Chinese regime vowed to respond to the meeting with “firm and forceful” measures.
The exercises are aimed at establishing China’s ability to “seize control of the sea, airspace and information (…) to create a total deterrence and encirclement” of TaiwanChinese propaganda media said on Saturday.
On Sunday, the Taiwan Ministry of Defense detected nine warships and 58 aircraft Chinese around the island, after having sighted as many ships and 71 planes the day before.
The ministry stated that it was monitoring the movements of the Chinese military through a “joint intelligence and reconnaissance system”, and indicated that among the planes detected until noon on Sunday, local time, there were fighters and bombers.
Also on Sunday Chinese military simulated “precision strikes” against “key targets on the island of Taiwan and surrounding waters”in which dozens of planes and ground troops participated, according to state television.
China assured that in the maneuvers destroyers, speedboats and fighter jets are being mobilizedamong others.
“I’m a little worried, I’d be lying if I said otherwise”, he declared on Sunday to the AFP Donald Ho, 73 years old. “If there is war, both sides will suffer a lot,” he added.
China considers the island of Taiwan, with a population of 23 million, as one of its provinces that it has not yet managed to reunify with the rest of its territory since the end of the Chinese civil war in 1949.
The moves “serve as a serious warning against collusion between separatist forces seeking ‘Taiwan independence’ and outside forces, as well as against their provocative activities,” warned a Chinese military spokesman, Shi Yi.
Washington on Saturday reiterated its call to “not change the status quo.”
“We are confident that we have sufficient resources and capabilities in the region to ensure peace and stability,” the State Department said.
The Chinese government announced that on Monday it will hold live-fire exercises in the Taiwan Straitnear the coast of Fujian, a province located off the island, according to local maritime authorities.
The exercises, which have an “operational” dimension, are intended to demonstrate that the Chinese military will be prepared “if provocations intensify” to “resolve the Taiwan issue once and for all,” he told the AFP military expert Song Zhongping.
President Tsai denounced on Saturday the China’s “authoritarian expansionism” and assured that T.Taiwan “will continue to work with the United States and other countries (…) to uphold the values of freedom and democracy.”
China is unhappy with the rapprochement in recent years between the Taiwanese authorities and the United States, which, despite the absence of official relations, provides the island with significant military support.
Last summer, China conducted unprecedented military exercises around Taiwan and fired missiles in response to a visit to the island by Democrat Nancy Pelosi, McCarthy’s predecessor in the House of Representatives.
The United States recognized the People’s Republic of China in 1979 and, in theory, should not have any official contact with Taiwan under the “one China principle” that Beijing advocates.
(With information from AFP)
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