In the wake of Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen’s visit to the United States this past week, officials with the Chinese military have ordered the simulated attacks of “key targets” in Taiwan as they hit a second day of drills that many security experts think are an attempt to intimidate the world scene.
This past Friday, Tsai made the trip back to her nation from America, a trip in which she was able to meet with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) — marking the highest-level meeting between a currently sitting Taiwanese president and American official to ever take place directly on American soil — that resulted in blustering and warning coming out of Beijing. The Chinese military kicked off three days of drills this past Saturday, even practicing a full”encirclement” of the island.
“Under the unified command of the theatre joint operations command center, multiple types of units carried out simulated joint precision strikes on key targets on Taiwan island and the surrounding sea areas, and continue to maintain an offensive posture around the island,” reported Chinese State TV this past weekend.
As reported by the Taiwan Defense Ministry, a group of 11 Chinese navy ships and 71 Chinese warplanes were spotted around Taiwan this past Sunday, with a total of 45 planes reportedly invading the air defense identification zone of Taiwan on Saturday. The state media made the claim that the planes had been armed with live weapons, stated a Reuters report, which Taiwanese planes also employ when attempting to scramble Chinese jets.
Along the Taiwan Strait median line — which is an unofficial buffer between Communist China and Taiwan — sits a group of about ten Chinese ships and ten Taiwanese ships in a standoff, explained a security source to Reuters.
Taiwan seems to not be the only target for China, another source familiar with the events stated to the outlet. China has also reportedly been practicing both sea and air attack simulations on “foreign military targets” just off the southwestern coast of Taiwan. “It’s very provocative,” expressed the source to the outlet.
This marks the first time that Communist China has openly demonstrated and spoken out about these types of simulated attacks against specific Taiwanese targets in this kind of way, Zhao Xiaozhuo from China’s Academy of Military Sciences stated to the Global Times, the state-held newspaper. Zhao also made sure to clarify what the phrase “key targets” could mean, adding that military logistics outfits, mobile targets, and runways fall under this umbrella, expressed a report from Reuters.