China says Taiwan war games test its ability to ‘seize power’ | military news

The People’s Liberation Army continues land, sea and air exercises that began on Thursday around the autonomous island.

China’s military has begun its second day of war games in Taiwan, with exercises it said were aimed at testing the military’s ability to “seize power” and control key areas of the self-governed democracy.

When the first day of exercises, codenamed Joint Sword-2024A, began on Thursday, China described them as “punishment” following the inauguration speech of Taiwan’s new president, William Lai Ching-te, at the who said Taiwan was a “sovereign and independent” country. nation whose sovereignty resides in the people.”

Lai also stressed that Taiwan would not make concessions on its freedoms and called on Beijing to “stop its aggression against Taiwan.”

The drills are part of a growing campaign of political and military intimidation by Beijing, which claims the island as its own and has not ruled out the use of force to achieve its goal of unification.

The two-day exercises are testing the “capability of joint power seizure, joint strikes and control of key territories,” said Col. Li Xi, spokesman for the Eastern Theater Command of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA).

Taiwan mobilized its military to monitor and follow Chinese activity while the drills were underway.

On Friday, the island’s Defense Ministry released photographs of F-16s, armed with real missiles, patrolling the skies.

It also showed images of Chinese coast guard vessels and other navy vessels participating in the drills near the Pengjia islet, north of Taiwan.

Taiwanese President William Lai Ching-te during a visit to a military base.  He is sitting with two officials and punching the air.  Behind them are uniformed soldiers.
Taiwan President William Lai Ching-te, center, visited a military base as China’s PLA began military exercises around the island (Ritchie B Tongo/EPA)

Meanwhile, images released by China’s military showed soldiers leaving a building toward battle stations and planes taking off to a rousing martial tune.

State broadcaster CCTV reported that Chinese sailors had called their Taiwanese counterparts at sea, warning them not to “resist reunification by force.”

strong language

Beijing considers Lai a “troublemaker” and a “separatist.” Like his predecessor, Tsai Ing-wen, he says only the people of Taiwan can decide his future.

At Thursday’s regular press briefing, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin used the kind of blunt language often used by the country’s propaganda media.

“Taiwan independence forces will be left with their heads broken and blood flowing after running into the great… trend of China achieving complete unification,” Wang told reporters.

Beijing’s Xinhua news agency and the ruling party’s newspaper, the People’s Daily, published editorials praising the drills on Friday, criticizing Lai’s “treacherous behavior” and promising a “severe blow.”

The United Nations has called on all sides to avoid escalation, while the United States – Taiwan’s biggest ally and military backer – “strongly” urged China to exercise restraint.

The defeated Republic of China government fled to Taiwan in 1949 after losing China’s civil war to the communists of Mao Zedong, who founded the People’s Republic of China.

The drills are being carried out in the Taiwan Strait and to the north, south and east of the island, as well as in areas around the Taipei-administered islands of Kinmen, Matsu, Wuqiu and Dongyin.

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