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China Conducts Mock Missile Strikes on Taiwan Amid Rising Tensions Following President Lai Ching-te’s Inauguration

China recently conducted military exercises targeting Taiwan, which included simulated missile strikes and the deployment of fighter jets armed with live missiles, demonstrating a strong display of power.

The state media CCTV publicized these drills with the intention of “penalizing” Taiwan’s newly inaugurated president, Lai Ching-te, shortly after he assumed office.

The exercises, named “Joint Sword – 2024A,” entailed the strategic coordination of bombers and naval vessels to simulate strikes in the waters east of Taiwan.

The objective was to assess China’s capabilities to assert dominance and establish authority over crucial regions of the island.

Beijing regards Taiwan as its own territory and has criticized President Lai as a “separatist.” Lai’s inaugural address, in which he called on Beijing to halt its threats and asserted that the two sides of the strait are “not subordinate to each other,” has escalated the situation even more.

Wu Qian, a representative of China’s defense ministry, defended the exercises as essential in countering Taiwan’s independence efforts and preventing external intervention.

A high-ranking Taiwanese security officer disclosed that the exercises involved simulated explosions of foreign vessels in the vicinity of the eastern terminus of the Bashi Channel, a vital maritime passage.

The drills were conducted to showcase China’s capacity to achieve complete dominance over regions located to the west of the first island chain, encompassing territories ranging from Japan to the Philippines.

In addition, Chinese coastguard vessels carried out “harassment” exercises near the eastern coast of Taiwan, which involved simulated inspections of civilian ships.

The activities are being closely monitored by the U.S. Navy’s 7th Fleet, which is reiterating its dedication to preventing aggression in the Indo-Pacific area.

While the United States lacks a formal diplomatic relationship with Taiwan, it is obligated by law to furnish the island with the necessary resources for self-defense and continues to be Taiwan’s most important international supporter.

Taiwan’s Foreign Minister Lin Chia-lung firmly stated that Taiwan will not succumb to pressure in reaction to the drills.

“We will not compromise due to this Chinese military exercise, as it pertains to the advancement of democracy in Taiwan,” he declared.

Taiwan’s military has deployed to surveil and track Chinese forces, as reported by the defense ministry.

They have detected multiple Chinese military aircraft and naval vessels, including 28 aircraft that crossed the middle line of the strait.

Chinese social media platforms have been filled with enthusiastic support for the military exercises, with the term “Eastern Theatre” gaining significant popularity as a top search item.

Nevertheless, analysts and regional diplomats have observed that the magnitude of these exercises is comparatively smaller in relation to comparable drills conducted in 2022.

Nevertheless, the likelihood of accidents or miscalculations remains significant.

President Lai has frequently expressed his willingness to engage in discussions with Beijing, but his attempts have been consistently rejected.

He asserts that the determination of Taiwan’s future lies solely in the hands of its people and dismisses China’s assertions of sovereignty over the island.

Although Taiwan is familiar with military threats from China, the ongoing military exercises have not created much concern among its residents, who are carrying on with their regular routines despite the increased tensions.

The ongoing military exercises underscore the delicate and intricate nature of cross-strait relations as geopolitical dynamics in the region change.

The global community remains vigilant, as any intensification might have profound implications for the stability of the area.

Source : https://www.reuters.com/world/asia-pacific/china-starts-second-day-war-games-around-taiwan-2024-05-24/

(The story is published based on the data from a syndicated feed. However there can be minor changes from the original source article.)

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