Taiwan accuses China of ‘exaggerated tricks’ — Analysis

Defense officials have denied a claim that Chinese aircraft flew near the Penghu islands, saying Beijing uses “cognitive warfare”

Taiwanese defense officials have characterized China’s latest saber-rattling over visits to the self-governing island by US politicians as “cognitive warfare,”Beijing claimed that it exaggerated its proximity to the latest military drills within the region in an attempt to intimidate.

At issue is a social media post by the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) showing footage of the Penghu islands, home of a major Taiwanese air force base, and suggesting that its jets were on Taiwan’s doorstep. Tung Pei-lun, the Taiwanese Air Force’s vice chief of staff for operations, denied that the recent Chinese drills in the Taiwan Strait came near Penghu.

“China used the exaggerated tricks of cognitive warfare to show how close it was to Penghu, which is not true,”Tung said Tuesday to reporters. He said Chinese aircraft have been operating to the north and southwest of Taiwan, in some cases crossing the unofficial median line into Taiwanese airspace, but the PLA planes flew closer to China’s coast than to Penghu.

The PLA’s Eastern Theater Command (ETC), the unit responsible for the region that includes the Taiwan Strait, has held navy and air force drills around Taiwan as a show of force following US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s controversial visit to Taipei earlier this month. Another US Congress delegation went to Taiwan on Sunday. This further escalated tensions.

China flexes military muscle near Taiwan

“The CCP {Chinese Communist Party} acts in this provocative way toward us every day now,”Sun Li-fang, spokesperson for Taiwan’s Defense Ministry told reporters Tuesday. “From our perspective, this is simply an opportunity to train more.”

Since last year, more than 30 US legislators have traveled to Taiwan. 19 of them visited Taiwan just this month. China claims Taiwan and vows to reunify it with force, if necessary.

Beijing broke off military and climate ties with Washington after Pelosi’s trip, saying she had undermined China’s sovereignty and emboldened separatists. ETC has promised that it will. “bury invading enemies.”

Beijing criticizes the US Congress’s visit to Taiwan

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