China had announced four days of military exercises around Taiwan, but has continued on Monday despite the completion of the four-days period.
China on Monday continued its biggest-ever military drills around Taiwan, extending the schedule of war games launched in retaliation to the visit by US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi to Taiwan.
The exercises were to run over four days to conclude on Sunday, but China has continued with drills in which it has so far pressed in hundreds of aircraft including fighter plans, deployed several warships, and carried out missiles that have not only flown over Taiwanese mainland and landed close to it but have also landed in Japan’s economic zone waters.
China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Eastern Theatre Command, which oversees Taiwan, said on Monday it would continue drills in waters near Taiwan island, focusing on anti-submarine and air-to-ship strikes, state-run Global Times reported.
The PLA conducted joint drills involving all wings of its armed forces in six areas around the island during August 4-7. The PLA’s latest announcement notice did not specify the location of the exercises nor did it mention when they would end.
The PLA on Sunday proceeded with the plan and continued realistic combat-scenario joint exercises in the sea and air space around the island of Taiwan practicing island capturing drills and bomber deterrence flights in Taiwan Strait, a rehearsal for real operation, state-run Global Times reported on Sunday.
Related: China drills show Beijing is developing the ability to strangle Taiwan, experts say
China’s military exercises show Beijing doesn’t need to invade Taiwan to control it — rather it can strangle the self-ruled island, cutting it off from the outside world, Chinese and American analysts say.
The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) drills, which officially began last Thursday, focused on six zones that essentially encircled Taiwan, restricting access to civilian ships and aircraft in the area, as forces conducted live-fire drills and missile launches.
Meng Xiangqing, a professor at the PLA National Defense University, said the six areas were chosen to show how China could cut off Taiwan’s ports, attack its most important military installations, and sever access for foreign forces that may come to Taiwan’s aid.
China’s Communist Party views democratic Taiwan as its territory — despite never having controlled it. Uniting Taiwan with the mainland is a cornerstone of Chinese policy and President Xi Jinping has not ruled out the use of force to bring the island under Beijing’s control.
Meng noted the northern exercise areas had successfully sealed off Taiwan from Okinawa, the island where both Japan and the United States base substantial military assets. In the southern areas, the PLA showed it could control the Bashi Channel, “the only way to enter and exit the South China Sea,” he said. And in the eastern areas, China’s forces showed that accurate Chinese missile fire could force foreign warships to back away from Taiwan’s waters, he added.
“This is an unprecedented encirclement of Taiwan Island,” Meng said.
By: Miss Cherry May Timbol – Independent Reporter
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