China’s military exercises and other tensions with Taiwan, explained

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China said on Monday it would hold a new exercise near Taiwan, a sign that Beijing may be beating a drumbeat of military pressure on the island after conducting its largest-ever exercise in the region in retaliation for a visit by Speaker Nancy Pelosi last week. .

The Eastern Theater Command of the People’s Liberation Army said Monday it was focused on conducting a “joint anti-submarine and maritime assault operation” at an unspecified location near the island. The announcement came a day after the army was wrapped up. 72 hours exercise Siege Taiwan, effectively simulating a blockade.

The latest exercise indicated Beijing is trying to normalize its military presence around Taiwan, allowing the Chinese military to practice enforcing a slow squeeze of the island including access to the island’s airspace and waters. Involves cutting access. During last week’s exercises, China sent at least 11 missiles into the sea north, south and east of Taiwan and deployed warships and fighter jets to encircle the island.

Taiwan, an island of 23 million people 80 miles off the coast of China, has long been a source of tension between Washington and Beijing. China claims its territory on Taiwan, a democratically governed island and has vowed to take it back using force if necessary.

Ms Pelosi was the highest-profile US official to visit Taiwan since 1997, when Newt Gingrich, then-House Speaker, made a controversial visit, After landing in Taipei on Tuesday night, a Chorus of Chinese government bodies condemned his visitClaiming that it thwarted China’s efforts to integrate with Taiwan and jeopardized regional stability.

Here’s a look at the issues surrounding China and Taiwan, and what has changed since Ms Pelosi’s visit.

China called the exercise a. as inserted show of force Ms Pelosi’s visit was intended to punish the island which challenged Beijing’s claims to Taiwan. The exercise, which pushed closer to Taiwan over four days, gave the Chinese military valuable exercise should they one day be ordered to attack the island.

On the first day of the exercise, five Chinese ballistic missiles fell in Japan’s Exclusive Economic Zone, east of Taiwan, the first time anyone had landed in those waters. Analysts watched as Beijing sent warnings to both the United States and Japan about coming to Taiwan’s aid in the event of a conflict, reminding Washington that it could strike American targets in the region.

China selected six areas to practice in for their importance in a potential campaign to lock down Taiwan, Major General Meng Jiangqing, a professor of strategy at the National Defense University in Beijing, said. said in an interview on Chinese television. One area covers the narrowest part of the Taiwan Strait. Others could be used to blockade a major port or attack Taiwan’s three main military bases. Another, facing southern Taiwan, may block an escape route.

China’s military build-up has reached a point where some commanders and analysts think an invasion is an increasingly plausible, though still highly risky, scenario. Even if an impending conflict is unlikely, the exercises are shore up the area, and the announcement of new exercises on Monday will only add to such concerns. Citing experts, Chinese state media Said on Monday that the number of jets patrolling the strait will not decrease, but will increase.

Xi Jinping, China’s most powerful leader in generations, has made it clearer than any of his predecessors. considers integrating Taiwan with China as the primary goal of his regime. — and a key to what he calls the “national rejuvenation” of China into a modern, unified superpower.

Taiwan emerged in Mr. Xi’s early political career. In 1996, a year as tensions escalated in the Taiwan Strait, he became the top political officer of the People’s Liberation Army Reserve Antiaircraft Division in Fujian Province, which faces the island from across the Taiwan Strait.

His growing interest in integration also reflects a domestic political reckoning. Mr. Xi’s fall is expected to confirm an unprecedented third term as leader in the Communist Party Congress. Before that meeting, Mr. Xi would be willing to project an image of strength at home and abroad, especially on the question of Taiwan.

The aim of the exercise is not only to put Taiwan and the United States at risk, but also to appease Chinese nationalists who were dismayed at what they were dismayed at. They are perceived as an inadequate domineering response.,

China’s incursions into airspace and waters near Taiwan have become more aggressive over the past several years, raising the risk of conflict.

In June, Beijing raised the stakes when the Foreign Ministry announced that the Taiwan Strait was China’s jurisdiction and could not be considered one. international waterways, And in the past year, Chinese military planes have being investigated rapidly The airfield near Taiwan prompted the Taiwanese military to scramble with fighter jets.

Beijing increased the pressure during Ms Pelosi’s visit. China’s military announced live-fire drills beginning Thursday, some of them in parts of the sea that appear to violate areas that Taiwan says are in its territorial waters.

In a deliberately ambiguous diplomatic arrangement adopted in 1979, the United States maintains a “one China” policy that acknowledges, but does not support, Beijing’s claim on Taiwan. American leaders left Unclear about how they will help Taiwan If China attacked, but President Biden pledged to defend the island,

Taiwan has never been a part of the People’s Republic of China. For decades, its population lived under martial law imposed by an American-backed regime led by Chiang Kai-shek, who fled China after being overthrown by Mao Zedong’s Communist Revolution of 1949. China and the United States came close to going to war twice. Over Taiwan in the 1950s.

Cold War tensions mostly eased in the 1980s and 1990s as Taiwan democratized and China opened up its economy. But it flared up again in 1995 and 1996, when China objected to Taiwanese President Lee Teng-hui’s visit to Cornell University, his alma mater.

China fired missiles near the main island of Taiwan as a warning to Mr Li, and again as Taiwan prepared for its first open presidential election. The crisis ended when President Bill Clinton ordered aircraft carriers to move to opposite ends of the Taiwan Strait.

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