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Beijing is taking a step further by organizing military exercises near Taiwan, including live-fire training scheduled for Monday. Since Thursday, it has increased military pressure on the neighboring island, with the dispatch of warships and aircraft to the strait.
Fears of seeing Beijing outbid are confirmed. The Chinese army launched Saturday, April 8, three days of military exercises in the Taiwan Strait. These tensions with the island are consecutive to the meeting in the United States of the Taiwanese president Tsai Ing-wen with the speaker of the American House of Representatives Kevin McCarthy.
The maneuvers “serve as a serious warning against collusion between separatist forces seeking ‘Taiwan independence’ and outside forces, as well as their provocative activities,” a Chinese military spokesman Shi said in a statement. Yi. These trainings also include “patrols”, according to the Chinese army.
Their exact location is not specified. Apart from live-fire exercises on Monday, which will be held in the Taiwan Strait near the coast of Fujian (east), the province facing the island, local maritime authorities said.
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These exercises, which have an “operational” dimension, are intended to demonstrate that the Chinese army will be ready, “if the provocations intensify”, to “settle once and for all the question of Taiwan”, warned the analyst Song Zhongping soldier.
Since Thursday, China has been stepping up military pressure on Taiwan with the dispatch of warships and aircraft to the strait. For several days, China has also reinforced the presence of its coastguards in the strait for exceptional patrols.
Taiwan denounces China’s “authoritarian expansionism”
For its part, the Taiwanese Ministry of Defense said at midday on Saturday that it had detected eight warships and 42 Chinese fighter jets around the island. Twenty-nine planes crossed the median line that separates China from Taiwan, the same source said.
The Chinese maneuvers follow Ms Tsai’s visit this week to the United States, where she met Kevin McCarthy, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, on Wednesday. Beijing immediately promised “firm and forceful measures” in retaliation.
Taipei said the maneuvers threaten “stability and security” in the Asia-Pacific region. Its president, Tsai Ing-wen, denounced on Saturday “authoritarian expansionism” on the part of China and assured that the territory “would continue to work with the United States and other countries (…) to defend the values of freedom and democracy”.
These military exercises come the day after a state visit to China by Emmanuel Macron, during which the question of Taiwan was raised with Chinese President Xi Jinping. “The conversation was dense and frank” on this subject, the Elysée said on Friday.