torsdag 25. februar 2021

Chinese Aircraft Carry Out Exercises, Pressure Taiwan in South China Sea Region

Chinese aircraft have conducted multiple exercises in the South China Sea region over the past few weeks, including maneuvers in Taiwan’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ), which experts see as a sustained pressure campaign against Taipei. Groups of People’s Liberation Army (PLA) aircraft flew near the Taiwan-occupied Pratas Islands in the South China Sea twice last week, Taiwan’s defense ministry said on Twitter.

And on Wednesday, state-run China Central Television (CCTV) said that 10 or more bombers belonging to the PLA Southern Theater Command Naval Air Force carried out maritime assault and maritime strike exercises after Lunar New Year festivities ended in mid-February. The CCTV broadcast did not specify the location of these maneuvers, but the Southern Theater Command is responsible for the South China Sea region, and its forces regularly operate in the area.

The PLA’s flights near the Pratas Islands and Taiwan appear to serve Beijing’s political interests in the Taiwan Strait. China’s ruling Communist Party claims that democratic, self-governing Taiwan is part of its territory to be annexed by force if necessary.