Taiwan begins military drills, accusing China of preparing for an invasion

Taiwan begins military drills, accusing China of preparing for an invasion

Taiwan on Tuesday (9) began a simulation of defending the island with live artillery shells following China’s major military maneuvers around its territory, while accusing Beijing of preparing an invasion.

Lou Woeijye, a spokesman for Taiwan’s Eighth Army Corps, confirmed the start of drills in southern Pingtung County. The maneuvers lasted almost an hour.

After the final round of fire, Taiwanese soldiers shouted “mission accomplished.”

China conducted the largest military drills in history around Taiwan last week, a Response to US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to the islandthe highest Washington official to have traveled to the city in decades.

Taiwan’s Foreign Minister Joseph Wu said China was using air and sea maneuvers to “prepare to invade Taiwan”.

“China’s real intention is to change the status quo across the Taiwan Strait and across the region,” Wu said.

The Chinese armed forces announced Tuesday the continuation of maneuvers with air and naval units.

The People’s Liberation Army Eastern Command said in a statement that it is conducting islandwide training exercises focused on joint blockades and joint support operations.”

Taiwan, a selfgoverning island, has lived for decades under the constant threat of invasion from China, which sees the territory as a province of the country that must one day be regained, if necessary by force.

Wu said China “is conducting largescale military drills and launching missiles and cyberattacks, a campaign of disinformation and economic coercion to weaken public morale in Taiwan.”

Taiwanese maneuvers, which will also take place on Thursday (11), will include the mobilization of hundreds of troops and 40 shells, the army said.

Lou said Monday the drills are already planned and no response to China’s maneuvers.

The democratically governed island often organizes simulations of a Chinese invasion. Last month, Taiwan held major drills on how to dodge attacks from the sea.

The antilanding exercises come after China expanded naval and air exercises around Taiwan on Monday, although the US government said it does not expect an escalation from Beijing.

“I’m not worried, but I’m worried that they’re making such a fuss. But I don’t think they will do more than what they are doing,” President Joe Biden said.

Taipei insists no Chinese planes or ships entered its territorial waters (up to 12 nautical miles from shore) during the Beijing maneuvers.

But the Chinese army last week released video of a pilot filming the coast and mountains from his cockpit to show him approaching the island.

Chinese media claimed ballistic missiles were fired over the Taiwanese capital during exercises.

The scale and intensity of Beijing’s maneuvers, as well as the cessation of its cooperation with Washington on areas such as climate or defense, have provoked outrage in the United States and other democracies.

Analysts commented that the Chinese exercises showed how Beijing’s increasingly daring army could stage an exhaustive blockade against the island.

China’s government defended the country’s stance on the US provocation as “firm, forceful and proportionate”.

“We are only sending a warning to the perpetrators,” said Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Wenbin, promising that the country would “resolutely shatter the illusion that the Taiwanese authorities have of gaining independence through the United States.”