China conducts war games near Taiwan to test ability to seize power; UN, US respond | 10 updates

  • China conducts military drills around Taiwan to test ability to control key areas and punish President Lai Ching-te, whom they denounce as a separatist.

Livemint
First Published24 May 2024
China on May 23 encircled Taiwan with naval vessels and military aircraft in war games aimed at punishing the self-ruled island after its new president vowed to defend democracy.
China on May 23 encircled Taiwan with naval vessels and military aircraft in war games aimed at punishing the self-ruled island after its new president vowed to defend democracy.(AFP)

China on Friday started its second day of war games around Taiwan with military drills to test their ability to "seize power" and control key areas to punish Taiwan's President Lai Ching-te.

The drills in the Taiwan Strait and around groups of Taiwan-controlled islands near the Chinese coast started just three days after Lai took office. China denounces Lai as a "separatist". The new Taiwanese President in his speech on Monday urged China to stop its threats and said the two sides of the strait were "not subordinate to each other".

Taiwan-China standoff and 'punishment' military drills: All you need to know

Taiwan has condemned the military drills by the People's Liberation Army. It has sent its armed forces to monitor and shadow Chinese forces.

Here are 10 updates on this big geopolitical story:

  • China kicked off the war games surrounding Taiwan with naval vessels and military aircraft on Thursday (May 23).
  • The military exercises have been codenamed "Joint Sword-2024A".

China holds biggest military drills in a year around Taiwan

  • The United Nations called for all sides to avoid escalation. "On China, I can tell you that we're of course following the developments in the Taiwan Straits closely. We urge the relevant parties to refrain from acts that could escalate tensions in the region," the UN chief's spokesman said.
  • The US, Taiwan's strongest ally and military backer, "strongly" urged China to act with restraint. "We strongly urge Beijing to act with restraint," the Biden administration official said, warning China not to use Taiwan's political transition as a "pretext or excuse for provocative or coercive measures."
  • The Chinese military drills are taking place in the Taiwan Strait and to the north, south, and east of the island, as well as areas around the Taipei-administered islands of Kinmen, Matsu, Wuqiu, and Dongyin.

Taiwan parliament member runs away with bill to prevent passing | Watch video

  • The last time China announced similar military exercises around Taiwan was in August last year after Lai, then vice president, stopped over in the US on a visit to Paraguay.
  • Another military drill happened in April that simulated the encirclement of the island, launched after Lai's predecessor Tsai Ing-wen met then-US House Speaker Kevin McCarthy in California.
  • China also launched major military exercises in 2022 after Nancy Pelosi, then the speaker of the US House of Representatives, visited Taiwan.
  • China -- governed by the Communist Party since 1949 -- claims Taiwan as part of its territory and has vowed to bring the democratic island under its rule, by force if necessary.
  • The Taiwan Strait is one of the world's most important maritime trade arteries, and the island itself is a major tech manufacturer, particularly of vital semiconductors.

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HomeNewsworldChina conducts war games near Taiwan to test ability to seize power; UN, US respond | 10 updates

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