Listen to this article China’s Aircraft Carrier Seals Off Taiwan Island in Drills
China recently conducted military drills around Taiwan for three days, which included “sealing off” the island and simulating targeted strikes. The drills began on Saturday, after Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen met with the US House Speaker in California. Taiwan considers itself a sovereign state, while China sees it as a breakaway province that will eventually come under Beijing’s control.
Taiwan Detected Jets to its East
During the drills, Taiwan detected jets to its east, while China confirmed that its Shandong aircraft carrier participated in the exercises. The drills were not as large as those that followed Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taipei last August. Nevertheless, Taiwan’s defence ministry said that it would not stop strengthening its combat preparedness.
China Simulates Strikes from the East
A map of flight paths released by Taiwan’s defence ministry showed four J-15 fighter jets to the island’s east. This suggests that the Chinese military is for the first time simulating strikes from the east, rather than the west, where China’s mainland lies. Analysts noted that the jets probably came from China’s Shandong aircraft carrier, which had conducted air operations in the preceding days.
The USS Milius Sent to the South China Sea
The situation saw the US becoming involved as it dispatched the USS Milius, a guided-missile destroyer, to navigate through a portion of the South China Sea that lies about 1,300km (800 miles) south of Taiwan. China said that the ship had “illegally intruded” into its waters, while the US maintained that the operation was consistent with international law.
China Warns US and Taiwan of “Resolute Counter-Measures”
Washington had repeatedly called for China to exercise restraint following President Tsai’s meeting with Kevin McCarthy, the third most senior US government figure. Beijing, meanwhile, had warned the US and Taiwan of “resolute counter-measures” if Ms Tsai met Mr McCarthy.
France Urges Europe Not to Get Involved
China announced the drills after top foreign leaders whom it was hosting, including French President Emmanuel Macron and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, left the country. During his flight out of China, Mr. Macron spoke to reporters, warning Europe against being drawn into a confrontation between Washington and Beijing over Taiwan. His remarks have sparked criticism, as he claimed that such an involvement in crises that do not concern Europe would hinder the continent’s efforts to build strategic autonomy.
In conclusion, the recent military drills conducted by China around Taiwan have raised tensions between the two sides. The drills included the “sealing off” of the island and simulating targeted strikes. Although the drills have ended, Taiwan’s defence ministry said that it would continue to strengthen its combat preparedness. The involvement of the US further complicated the situation when it dispatched a guided-missile destroyer through the South China Sea. In the meantime, France has urged Europe not to engage in the situation due to Taiwan’s ambiguous status, while China has reiterated its aim to reunify with the island.Read more: China’s Aircraft Carrier Seals Off Taiwan Island In Drills