Surprisingly, China continued its maneuvers around Taiwan on Monday. State television reported that despite its initial announcement that the military exercises would only continue until Sunday, “combat exercises” continued in the air and at sea in the Taiwan Strait. The Chinese People’s Liberation Army focused on “joint anti-submarine operations and attacks at sea”.
When the exercises were announced last Tuesday, the Chinese leadership had originally promised to conclude on Sunday. However, an official end has not been announced yet. Instead, some Chinese commentators have suggested that military exercises are taking place regularly and could become the new normal.
Defense Ministry spokesman Wu Qian described Monday’s maneuvers as a “necessary warning” for the United States and Taiwan. It was a “appropriate” reaction to their “provocations”. The tensions were “deliberately” created by the US, as US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi traveled to Taipei against Beijing’s opposition.
The Chinese leadership rejects such official communications from other countries to Taipei because it sees the island only as part of the People’s Republic of China. On the other hand, Taiwan has always considered itself an independent country. Through maneuvers, the People’s Liberation Army not only exercised a sea and air blockade, but also exercised a possible invasion of the island.
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Taiwan’s military reported that Chinese planes carried out 66 sorties on Sunday alone. 22 aircraft crossed the unofficial, but by far the most respected Central Line, the Taiwan Strait. 14 warships also participated in the maneuvers in the strait. The Taiwan armed forces closely followed the movements and issued warnings over the radio.
A Chinese drone was seen again Sunday evening over Taiwan’s Kinmen (Kimwe) island, which is just two kilometers from the Chinese coast, the Taipei Ministry of Defense said. There has been no Chinese air traffic over the island since the 1950s.
Other exercises are also scheduled this week in other maritime areas in the north in the Bohai Bay and the Yellow Sea and in the south in the South China Sea off the coast of Guangdong Province.
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