fredag 24. mai 2024

What do China's drills around Taiwan tell us?

Thursday's drills focused on encircling the island, simulating a full-scale attack, minus the actual landing of troops, Taiwan military expert Chieh Chung says. He thinks the inclusion of all of Taiwan’s off-shore islands demonstrates China’s plan to eliminate facilities that could launch a counter-attack against the PLA.

He also thinks this two-day drill will not be the last Taiwan will have to endure this year – hence the name “Joint Sword 2024-A”. Friday's footage shows the People's Liberation Army (PLA) preparing for a mock strike on Taiwan’s main cities and ports.

A dramatic video released by the PLA’s Eastern Command, shows fleets of ships approaching Taiwan, accompanied by the words “Push in!” “Encircle!” “Lock!” The whole of Taiwan is then highlighted in orange – presumably indicating total control. China has also released a video of a PLA colonel explaining the purpose of the drills in politically-charged language: "As we can see we have set two exercise areas in the sea and air space near the eastern part of the island, mainly to block the escape of 'Taiwan independence' separatists and break through their comfort zone," he says.