If you look at the preparation of its military exercises … this isn’t something you can prepare in a matter of days. China has been preparing for this for a long time.Taiwan’s Foreign Minister Joseph Wu. China has been conducting military drills around Taiwan’s main island; the drills were originally scheduled to last four days but have been extended.
Why It Matters: Taiwan warns that the nearby ongoing Chinese military drills are a threat to their independence. Tensions continue to rise following last week's visit by U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, which China cites as the reason for their drills. Taiwan officials say the Chinese offensive is part of a bigger goal to gain control in the western Pacific.
- Important context: Taiwan considers itself independent, but China considers it part of mainland China. Pelosi's visit was seen as a nod to Taiwan's independence (and against China).
- The Chinese military exercises near Taiwan include "missiles, large-scale naval and air joint military exercises, drones, cyberattacks, disinformation campaigns, [and] economic coercion," according to Wu.
- Today was also the beginning of Taiwan's preplanned two-day military exercise, in which they are practicing defensive moves in order to maintain preparedness for any future conflict.
- Something to Consider: The Chinese military drills are compromising the Taiwan Strait, a body of water about 110 miles wide that separates Taiwan from the Chinese mainland and is one of the largest shipping and air trade routes in the region. While ships have mostly returned to normal routes, important goods such as crude oil and natural gas were disrupted and could face continued delays.
Taiwan Starts Two-Day Defensive Drills as Tensions With China Remain High (Wall Street Journal)
Taiwan warns China drills show ambitions beyond island (Associated Press)
by Jenna Lee,