TAIPEI (AFP) – Chinese forces conducted simulated precision strikes against Taiwan on Sunday (April 9) on the second day of training around the island, and the island’s defense ministry reported several air sorties and said it was monitoring China’s missile forces.
China, which claims Taiwan as its territory, began military exercises around the island for three days from the 14th, the day after Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen returned from a tour of the United States.
Chinese state television reported that combat readiness patrols and drills continued around Taiwan.
“Under the unified command of the theater joint operations command center, units of several types conducted simulated joint precision strikes against key targets on Taiwan Island and in the surrounding waters, and continue to maintain an offensive posture around the island,” it said.
A source familiar with the security situation in the region told Reuters that China had conducted simulated air and sea attacks on “foreign military targets” in Taiwan’s southwestern coastal waters.
“Taiwan is not their only target,” said a source who requested anonymity. “It’s very provocative.”
Taiwan’s defense ministry said it had spotted 58 Chinese aircraft and nine ships, including Su-30 fighters and H-6 bombers, around Taiwan as of noon Sunday (4:00 a.m. GMT, 12:00 p.m. Singapore time).
The Ministry of Defense said it is paying special attention to the People’s Liberation Army Rocket Force, which is responsible for China’s land-based missile systems.
Taiwan’s defense ministry said the Taiwanese military was “closely aware of the movements of the Chinese communist rocket force” through its joint intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance system, and its air defense forces remained on high alert.
The Taiwanese military reiterated that it would “not escalate and not provoke a conflict” and would respond “appropriately” to China’s exercises.
Security sources said about 20 warships (half Taiwanese and half Chinese) were stuck near the Taiwan Strait’s central line, which has served as an unofficial barrier between the two sides for years, but took no provocative action. .
Sources said the Chinese aircraft carrier Shandong, which Taiwan has been monitoring since last week, is currently conducting exercises more than 400 nautical miles off Taiwan’s southeast coast.
Zhao Xiaozhuo of the Chinese Academy of Military Sciences told China’s state-run Global Times newspaper that it was the first time China had publicly commented on a simulated attack on a target in Taiwan.
Key targets include infrastructure such as airstrips, military logistics facilities, and mobile targets, which can be “taken out at once if necessary,” Zhao said.