China launches its biggest ever live-fire military drill just 12 miles off Taiwan: ‘Beijing “miscalculation” could spark WAR’ as HYPERSONIC missiles are fired and military rehearses island blockade

China has launched its biggest ever live-fire military drills around Taiwan as its warships encircled the island territory today, amid warnings a single miscalculation could spiral into all-out war.
Beijing will break out some of its most-sophisticated military gear during the drills including J-20 stealth fighters, long-range bombers, and its most up-to-date corvettes and destroyers in what is effectively a dress-rehearsal for an invasion. Its two aircraft carriers – the Liaoning and Shandong – have also taken up positions nearby.
Short-range ballistic missiles and latest-generation hypersonic missiles will also be used, state-run Global Times reported, amid fears rockets could be fired over the island for the first time in what would be a serious escalation. Exclusion zones drawn up by the Chinese show the games will also cross into Taiwanese territorial waters.

A Chinese military helicopter flies past Pingtan Island, one of mainland China’s closes points to Taiwan. The Asian country has started ‘live-firing’ war games in the waters around Taiwan today
But it came at a bad time for Xi, as he tries to project an image of strength ahead of Party Congress this autumn where he is expected to be given an historic third term in power which would mark the start of autocratic rule.
Xi has made the so-called ‘reunification’ of Taiwan with China his hoped-for legacy as he aims to become the country’s greatest leader since Mao, despite the fact that the Communists have never ruled the island.
The war games threaten major disruption to one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes which runs through the Taiwan strait, and have forced the island to divert huge amounts of air traffic that it relies upon to get crucial supplies – including food.
Nearly half the world’s ships passed through the narrow Taiwan Strait – which separates the island from the Chinese mainland  – in the first seven months of this year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
The dramatic escalation in tensions was sparked by Pelosi’s visit earlier this week as she became the highest-profile elected US official to visit Taiwan in 25 years.
She said her presence made it ‘unequivocally clear’ that the United States would ‘not abandon’ a democratic ally like Taiwan.
The exercises, which began around 12pm (4am GMT), involve ‘live-firing’, according to state media.
‘Six major areas around the island have been selected for this actual combat exercise and during this period, relevant ships and aircraft should not enter the relevant waters and airspaces,’ state broadcaster CCTV reported.
The exercises will take place in multiple zones around Taiwan – at some points within just 20 kilometres (12 miles) of the island’s shore – and will conclude at midday on Sunday.
Taiwan’s defence ministry said it was closely watching the drills and that the island was prepared for conflict, but would not seek it.

‘The Ministry of National Defence stresses that it will uphold the principle of preparing for war without seeking war, and with an attitude of not escalating conflict and causing disputes,’ it said in a statement.

Related: China launches missiles in Taiwan drills

China has begun live-fire drills in the region around Taiwan, following a recent visit to the island by US Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
State TV showed numerous missiles being fired as part of the operation. They targeted waters near Taiwan’s coast.
Self-ruled Taiwan says the move, which stops ships and planes from using the space, violates its sovereignty and amounts to a blockade.
China sees Taiwan – which lies 100 miles from the mainland – as a breakaway province that will eventually be under its control


By: Miss Cherry May Timbol – Independent Reporter

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