China demonstrates its military strength

Beijing/Taipei In the conflict over Taiwan, China launched the largest military show of force in decades. The maneuvers in six areas around the democratic island republic, which have been in full swing since Thursday, are aimed at an air and sea blockade. You could also be a model for violent conquest. According to Chinese information, rockets for “precision strikes” were also fired. Shells fell in the waters north, south and east of Taiwan.

The muscle flexing is intended to deter Taiwan from any further push for independence. They are also a warning to United Statesto stay out of the argument.

China’s People’s Liberation Army ordered the maneuvers in response to the Taiwan trip of the US House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, on Tuesday and Wednesday – the highest-ranking visit from the United States in a quarter century. China sees the island as part of the People’s Republic. The leadership in Beijing had vehemently warned against the visit. Taiwan, on the other hand, has long considered itself independent. The top US politician continued her trip to Asia on Thursday in South Korea.

Long-range missiles were fired in the Taiwan Strait straits separating Taiwan from the mainland and east of the island, the People’s Liberation Army Eastern Military Command said. “All missiles hit their targets accurately,” a spokesman said. According to Taiwanese information, China has “Dongfeng” (East Wind) missiles in use. Taiwanese armed forces remain on combat readiness. That Department of Defense in Taipei said that all six maneuver areas and offshore islands would be monitored.

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Taiwan does not seek conflict but will defend national sovereignty and territorial integrity, the ministry said. China has chosen the location and scale of the maneuver areas in a way that violates Taiwan’s status quo and undermines regional peace. This refers to the areas partially entering Taiwan’s territorial waters, unlike previous maneuvers.

Taiwanese Navy

Taiwanese armed forces are on combat readiness.

(Photo: imago images/ZUMA Wire)

The drills are also larger than in the 1995-96 “missile crisis,” when China fired missiles north and south across Taiwan’s territorial waters. Even then, Beijing wanted to deter the pro-independence forces. At that time, the United States sent two aircraft carriers. Today, China’s goals are broader: it wants to practice a blockade of the island, sea attacks, landings and airspace control.

According to Japanese information, five of the Chinese missiles are in Japan’s current maneuvers exclusive economic zone (EEZ). “This is a serious matter affecting our country’s national security and people’s security,” Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi said. Japan protested to the Chinese side. It is the first time a Chinese People’s Liberation Army missile has landed in Japanese EEZ waters.

Russia is behind China

China received support for its controversial military maneuvers from its allies Russia. “As for the maneuvers, that’s China’s sovereign right,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Thursday, according to the Interfax agency.

Peskow once again criticized the visit of US top politician Nancy Pelosi to Taipei a few days ago, which Beijing sharply condemned. “It was a completely unnecessary visit and an unnecessary provocation,” said Kremlin chief Vladimir Putin’s spokesman.

Federal Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock called for de-escalation during a visit to Canada. Pelosi’s visit “must not be used as an excuse for military threatening gestures”. The status quo can only be changed peacefully and with the mutual consent of all those involved. The big seven western industrial nations (G7) also expressed concern about China’s behavior. Germany currently chairs the group.

>> Read here: A war over Taiwan would have a completely different dimension than the terrible war in Ukraine

Annalena Bärbock

The German foreign minister warned against a change in the status quo.

(Photo: IMAGO/photothek)

A dispute could draw the USA militarily into the conflict. Experts also warned of incidents caused by miscalculations on both sides during the manoeuvres. The US has committed itself to Taiwan’s ability to defend itself, which has so far mostly meant arms deliveries. President Joe Biden has repeated this several times.

The Southeast Asian community of states, ASEAN, called on all sides to exercise extreme restraint. At a meeting in Cambodia, the ASEAN foreign ministers called for a refrain from provocative actions because this could lead to “unforeseeable consequences”. The confederation offered itself as a mediator. China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken also attended the meeting.

Angered by the G7 statement, Wang Yi canceled a meeting with the Japanese foreign minister. A separate meeting with Blinken was not planned according to earlier reports.

>>Read here: Two countries, two systems: That’s what the Taiwan conflict is about

Taiwan invited Bundestag President Bärbel Bas (SPD) to follow Pelosi’s example. The representative in Germany, Jhy-Wey Shieh, told the “Tagesspiegel”: “The inhibitions about traveling to Taiwan must fall. I propose that a Bundestag delegation headed by the President of the Parliament travel to Taiwan.” German exporters are concerned about the escalation. “Taiwan is an important part of many sectors of the global economy due to its electronics and semiconductor industry,” said BGA President Dirk Jandura of the “Rheinische Post”.

More: Taiwan crisis: How Japan and South Korea are fighting China’s supremacy

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