China surrounds Taiwan with military vessels News
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China surrounds Taiwan with military vessels

China surrounded Taiwan with navy vessels and aircraft on Thursday as part of two days of military procedures, according to state media.

The area surrounded included the Taiwan Strait, the north, south and east of Taiwan Island, as well as areas around the islands of Kinmen, Matsu, Wuqiu, and Dongyin. Beijing stated that the military action is a warning against Taiwan independence groups working with outside forces, like the US.

The spokesperson for the Eastern Theater Command of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army, Li Xi, stated that the joint drills, code-named Joint Sword-2024A, will take place from Thursday to Friday. According to Li, the exercises center on joint sea-air combat-readiness patrol, joint seizure of comprehensive battlefield control, and joint precision strikes on strategic targets.

The drills come three days after Lai Ching-te was sworn in as President of Taiwan. Lai is a controversial figure in China for his connections with the US, and was in talks a month ago about opening the island to more American exports to increase Taiwan’s ability to resist economic coercion from China.

The Taiwanese Ministry of National Defence stated in an official release that Taiwan has put their armed forces on “high alert” in reaction to “irrational provocations and actions that disrupt regional peace and stability.”

Taiwan considers itself as separate from the Chinese mainland, having a democratically elected government and its own set of laws. Beijing, particularly under Xi Jinping, has sworn to seize the island by any means necessary. As of publication, China’s operations have remained in the grey zone, falling short of a full invasion.