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China exercise reveals Taiwan blockade plans: expert

China’s largest-ever military exercises around Taiwan have provided important clues to planning a tough blockade in the event of a war to occupy the island, suggesting that the Chinese military is becoming increasingly daring. revealed, an expert told AFP.
US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan has sparked outrage from Beijing, which has launched a major military operation around the island, even at the risk of partially exposing its plans to the US and its Asian allies.
The drill, which mobilizes fighter planes, helicopters and even warships, is intended to simulate a blockade of Taiwan and include practicing “strikes on maritime targets,” according to the state-run Xinhua News Agency. This was the first time that Chinese exercises were held so close to Taiwan, with some exercises he conducted within 20 km of the island’s shores.
Beijing’s military exercises on Taiwan’s eastern flank are also unprecedented, a strategically important area for supplies to Taiwan’s military forces, as well as potential American reinforcements. China considers Taiwan part of its territory and has promised to take it by force if necessary.
A “blockade scenario” has long been speculated to be one of China’s preferred strategies for trying to conquer the island, and this week’s drills have revealed just how that could fall apart.
Such sieges are intended to prevent the entry and exit of commercial or military ships and aircraft. But it also denies US troops stationed in the area access to the island. and have all the capacity to impose such a blockade.” “Current exercises have already confirmed that Taiwanese fighters and ships are absolutely not allowed to take off or leave port.”
China’s state-run CCTV said China’s military launched more than a dozen ballistic missiles on Thursday, striking various areas around Taiwan. According to the Xinhua News Agency, Beijing has deployed more than 100 aircraft and more than 10 frigates and destroyers, including her J-20 stealth fighter and the pinnacle of China’s air force and navy of the Type Includes 055 destroyers.
But beyond artillery, these exercises allow us to test and sharpen the level of coordination between the various corps mobilized: tasked with land, naval, air, rocket forces, and cyber warfare. strategic support.
It is also an important test for China’s recently launched Eastern Theater of Operations, which was created in 2016 and oversees the entire eastern sea area of ​​China, namely Taiwan. John Braxland, a professor of international security at the Australian National University, told AFP that what China has done so far shows “strong capabilities”. “They cannot be dismissed as an inexperienced and incompetent military,” he said.
“They clearly have the ability to coordinate land and sea, they have the ability to deploy missile systems, and they are working effectively.”
These exercises also show Taiwanese, Americans and Japanese that the Chinese “have what it takes to do what they’re trying to do,” he added. rice field.
“Of course, the flip side of this is that Taiwan, the United States, Japan, and others are being closely studied and monitored for lessons to be learned,” Blaxland noted. did. During the 1995-1996 Taiwan Strait Crisis, under Bill Clinton, the US Navy passed several warships through the waterways and deployed aircraft carriers near the island. But this time, “the U.S. government is taking cautious steps to avoid unwanted escalation,” said Ronnie Henry, a former U.S. intelligence officer and professor at the Elliott Center for International Affairs in Washington. .
US caution is also rooted in the fact that China has significantly increased its military power since 1996, when it failed to deny US naval access to the region. “In some areas, the PLA may even exceed U.S. capabilities,” said Grant Newsham, a former U.S. Navy officer and researcher at the Japan Strategic Research Forum, referring to the Chinese military by its full name. pointed out while
“If the fighting is confined to Taiwan’s perimeter, today’s Chinese navy is a dangerous adversary, and it will be difficult for Taiwan if the United States and Japan do not intervene for some reason.”
China’s aggression across the so-called median line between the mainland and Taiwan has never been recognized by the Chinese government but speaks to growing confidence, experts said. “Until recently, China has been reluctant to impose its claims on the Central Line,” Braxland said.
“You can expect them to continue to operate as if the central line weren’t in effect. It has been for a while, but now it’s accelerating.”



http://www.gulf-times.com/story/722300/China-drills-reveal-plans-for-Taiwan-blockade-expe China exercise reveals Taiwan blockade plans: expert

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