Chinese military experts consider these maneuvers a mock blockade in a “tough warning” after Tsai Ing Wen’s visit to the US
8 Apr. (EUROPE PRESS) –
The Eastern Operations Command of the Chinese Army began its combined military maneuvers around Taiwan on Saturday in response to the meeting this week between President Tsai Ing Wen and the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, Kevin McCarthy, in the which Beijing considered an affront to its sovereign claims over the territory.
Throughout this weekend and until next Monday, all branches of the Chinese Army will carry out artillery exercises, naval and air deployments, and missile launch drills that “will surround the island of Taiwan from four directions,” the spokesman explained. of the Eastern Command, Colonel Shi Yi, to the Chinese state newspaper ‘Global Times’.
The spokesperson has confirmed that these exercises are intended to send a “stern message” against the “secessionist forces that demand Taiwan’s independence and their “collusion with external forces” in a “necessary move to safeguard national sovereignty and territorial integrity.”
These drills are practically equivalent to the dress rehearsal of a blockade on the island; a scenario designed to prevent both the deployment of Taiwanese forces and external interference, according to military expert Song Zhongping, consulted by the same media.
OPERATIONS IN TWO PHASES
The military exercises that began this Saturday are divided into two phases. The first consists of the deployment of combat alert patrols such as those that have been flying over the Taiwan Strait for months and that often briefly cross the so-called “Davis line” that splits the strait in two and is considered the beginning of the Taiwan security zone.
The Taiwan Ministry of Defense, in this sense, has detected this Saturday at least 42 combat aircraft and eight warships, and confirmed that 29 of these aircraft entered its air defense space in the north, center and south of Taiwan. the island.
The second part of the drill consists of the development of the aforementioned joint exercises, in which combat planes and warships “will surround the island while executing drills oriented towards real combat,” according to other military experts, this time under the condition of anonymous, to the Chinese newspaper.
The exercises will culminate in a live-fire drill off the coast of Pingtan, China’s Fujian province and just 130 kilometers from Taiwan on Monday, under a special military drill alert declared by the East China Maritime Safety Administration.
What’s more, despite the fact that the combined exercises will end on Monday, the agency has issued additional alerts for live-fire drills until April 20 off the coast of Fuzhou, some 90 kilometers north of Pingtan.