The Chinese People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) is holding joint combat-oriented drills in the disputed Taiwan Strait while dangerously approaching the island from “four directions”, Chinese state-media The Global Times reported on Friday.
The move comes as a response to the top American diplomat Keith Krach’s visit to Taiwan. PLAAF also conducted aerial drills and flew its bombers close to the island and intruded in the Republic Of China (Taiwan)’s airspace, which prompted Taipei to scramble its interceptors and ready its anti-aircraft missile.
Calling the PLA’s exercises to make Taiwan look like a “turtle in a jar”, the PRC state media warned that these drills can turn into “real action” any time if Taiwan secessionists insist on their obduracy.
However, Beijing also knows about serious repercussions if these drills actually become real while a top U.S. diplomat is present in Taiwan.
During a press conference on Friday, the PLA Spokesperson Col. Ren Guoqiang said, “The PLA has the firm willingness, full confidence and enough capability to defeat all outside forces that interfere with the Taiwan question or conduct separatist actions to protect national sovereignty and integrity.”
Earlier in August, a U.S. delegation led by Health Secretary Alex Azar also visited Taiwan. “In addition to sending Krach to visit the Taiwan on Thursday to attend the memorial service of former Taiwan regional leader Lee Teng-hui, the US has increased its provocation to try to push back China’s bottom line on the “Taiwan question” in recent days,” Global Times said.
PLA's Eastern Theater Command conducts a live-fire drill in the Taiwan Strait starting from Friday, Ministry of National Defense spokesperson Ren Guoqiang said Fri, adding that the action is necessary to safeguard national sovereignty due to the current situation in the region. pic.twitter.com/lTOT6Q6WXi
— People's Daily, China (@PDChina) September 18, 2020
A Beijing-based expert stated that “When the technology and trade war cards are not working for them, the US is inclined to play the Taiwan card and the current provocations show it is lingering along the edge to break through the one-China policy.”
“The US wants Taiwan to play as one of its guards in the Pacific Ocean, and the island also needs to pay to arm itself. Actually, the US treats the island as nothing more than toilet paper and would not hesitate to cast it away for its own interests,” stated the GT.