Chinese military begins ‘strategic’ exercises around Taiwan

A map showing locations where China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) will conduct military exercises and training activities, including live-fire drills, can be seen in newspapers on the House Speaker’s visit. U.S. Representatives Nancy Pelosi in Taiwan at a newsstand in Beijing, China, Aug. 3. , 2022. REUTERS/Tingshu Wang

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BEIJING, Aug 4 (Reuters) – China’s People’s Liberation Army has started military drills that include firing live ammunition into the waters and airspace surrounding the island of Taiwan, state television reported on Thursday. Chinese state.

The exercises, spread over six sites, are due to end on Sunday at 12:00 (04:00 GMT). The drills followed a visit by US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi to Taiwan, a trip condemned by Beijing, which claims the self-governing island as its own.

Significantly, to the north, east and south, the exercise areas bisect Taiwan’s claimed territorial waters, which Taiwan officials say challenges the international order and amounts to a blockade. of its sea and air space. Read more

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The locations encircle the island in an unprecedented formation, Meng Xiangqing, a professor at the National Defense University, told Chinese state television, describing how a real military operation against Taiwan could unfold.

“In fact, it has created very good conditions for us when, in the future, we reshape our strategic landscape conducive to our unification,” Meng said.

Chinese forces in two areas off Taiwan’s northern coast could potentially isolate Keelung, a major port, while strikes could be launched from an area east of Taiwan targeting military bases in Hualien and Taidong, it said. he declared.

Kaoshiung’s “gates” could also be closed by the Chinese military off the southwest coast, Meng said.

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Reporting by Ryan Woo; Editing by Jacqueline Wong and Simon Cameron-Moore

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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