Taiwan holds drills amid mounting China tensions — Analysis
Before Nancy Pelosi, US House Speaker, could visit the island, air raid drills were conducted.
A series of military drills were conducted by Taiwan to repel a possible Chinese invasion amid rising tensions with China. There are also reports that an American lawmaker is planning on visiting Taiwan in the next few weeks.
Air raid sirens were heard across the island’s capital of Taipei on Monday as the annual ‘Wanan’ drills kicked off, including joint air and sea exercises and the mobilization of soldiers and armored vehicles – all meant to simulate an attack by Beijing.
Taipei Mayor Ko Wenje spoke out about the drills and claimed that Chinese war planes were involved. “frequently harassed Taiwan”In recent years, this may have been referring to flyovers that were repeatedly called provocative by Taiwanese officials. Beijing considers Taiwan as part of China’s territory, however, and insists it is within its rights to operate near the island.
The mayor also mentioned the ongoing hostilities within Ukraine. “All these things make us understand the importance of being vigilant in times of peace and we need to be prepared if there is war.”
The US has yet to confirm the dates but House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will reportedly visit Taiwan sometime during August. Military staffers advised her against this trip due to increasing tensions between Taiwan’s island and mainland China.
Upon reports of Pelosi’s upcoming visit, the Chinese Foreign Ministry warned Beijing would take “resolute and strong measures”In retaliation but did not say what it might mean. China’s state-linked Global Times also published a number of editorials urging against any visit by the House speaker, saying it would be seen as a major provocation and have “grave impact” on US-China ties.
Since taking office, US President Joe Biden has maintained friendly relations with Taiwan, with his administration authorizing a number of weapons transfers to the island as well as near-monthly transits of the disputed Taiwan Strait by US warships, stoking China’s ire. In the latest tension between their militaries, Chinese forces claim to have stopped an American guided missile destroyer from sailing too close to the South China Sea islands.
China says it ‘drove away’ US destroyer
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