Why China Conducts Drills to Encircle Taiwan Amidst US-Taiwan Relations
Amidst Beijing’s anger over Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen’s meeting with the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives Kevin McCarthy in California, China has initiated three days of military exercises in the vicinity of Taiwan.
According to Taiwan’s defense ministry, 42 fighter jets and eight warships belonging to the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) were identified within Taiwan’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ), and nearly 29 of the aircraft crossed the median line.
China’s state media reported that the military exercises would involve “patrols and advancements around Taiwan island, creating a comprehensive encirclement and deterrence posture.”
The media also stated that the Chinese military had deployed various naval equipment including artillery, missile, fighter jets, aircraft bombers, jammers, and Aircraft refuellers.
Taiwan’s defense forces activated their missile defense systems and deployed air and sea patrols to monitor the Chinese aircraft, according to a statement from the Taiwanese military.
“We denounce this irrational action, which has endangered regional security and stability,” said Taiwan’s defense ministry in a statement.
China’s Position on Taiwan
China considers Taiwan a breakaway province that is part of its territory and has long sought to reunify the island with the mainland.
China’s military exercises and actions around Taiwan, including encirclement, are aimed at demonstrating its military strength and sending a message to Taiwan and other countries that it will not tolerate any moves toward formal independence for Taiwan. Additionally, China sees Taiwan as a strategic location and a potential military threat due to its proximity to China’s coast and the presence of U.S. military forces in the region.
Taiwan’s Position on China
Taiwan, on the other hand, views itself as an independent, democratic country with its own government, military, and economy.
The majority of the Taiwanese people do not support reunification with China and prefer to maintain the status quo of de facto independence.
Taiwan also seeks to strengthen its diplomatic ties with other countries, including the United States, to bolster its security and ensure its continued autonomy.
The United States Support for Taiwan
The United States has been a long-standing supporter of Taiwan and has provided diplomatic, economic, and military support to the island nation. In recent years, the US has strengthened its ties with Taiwan, including increasing arms sales and sending high-level officials to visit the country.
This has been a source of tension between the US and China. Despite all this, the US has continued to support Taiwan, citing its commitment to democracy and regional stability.