China Holds Drills Around Taiwan

On Sunday, China's Eastern Theater Command confirmed that it conducted joint combat alert patrols and joint fire strike exercises in the sea and airspace around Taiwan in what it deemed a "resolute response" to alleged US-Taiwan collusion and provocation.

China Holds Drills Around Taiwan
Image credit: PLA Eastern Theater Command/Weibo [via CNN]

Facts

  • On Sunday, China's Eastern Theater Command confirmed that it conducted joint combat alert patrols and joint fire strike exercises in the sea and airspace around Taiwan in what it deemed a "resolute response" to alleged US-Taiwan collusion and provocation.
  • On Monday, Taipei reported that 71 Chinese aircraft, including fighter jets and drones, entered its Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) between 6 a.m. Sunday and 6 a.m. Monday, allegedly the largest incursion to date.
  • The Taiwanese Defense Ministry said in a statement that 47 Chinese planes were detected crossing the median line of the Taiwan Strait, adding that Beijing also deployed seven ships to areas around the island.
  • The incursions, which followed naval exercises by a Chinese aircraft carrier group close to Japan, were reportedly made by 42 fighter jets, two maritime patrol aircraft, an early warning aircraft, and two military drones.
  • This comes as US Pres. Joe Biden signed the US National Defense Authorization Act for FY2023 on Friday, which promises to provide Taiwan with $10B in military aid and $2B in military loans within five years, marking the first time it will finance weapons for the island.
  • Tensions between China and the US over the self-ruled island that Beijing views as part of its national territory have ramped up this year, especially following a visit to Taiwan by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in August.

Sources: Al Jazeera, Guardian, Axios, CNN, and Global Times.

Narratives

  • Anti-China narrative, as provided by CNN. Despite having never controlled Taiwan, these latest drills show that Beijing is resolute in resorting to aggressive military pressure tactics to resolve differences and annex the self-ruled democratic country. Under such circumstances, Taiwan and the US must strengthen their cooperation to deter Chinese aggression and ensure a free, open, peaceful, and stable Indo-Pacific region.
  • Pro-China narrative, as provided by Global Times. This latest exercise is a direct result of US provocation. As Washington continues to escalate its collusion with Taiwan in its latest defense act, Beijing had to demonstrate it will take any necessary measures to protect its national sovereignty and territorial integrity. If Washington doesn't want to trigger a military confrontation, it should respect the one-China principle and refrain from undermining peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait.

Predictions