LChina began its military exercises around Taiwan on Thursday, announced Chinese public television CCTV, the largest maneuvers ever organized around the island claimed by Beijing. “The exercises are starting,” CCTV said in a message posted on the Weibo social network.
They come in response to the visit earlier this week by the leader of the American congressmen Nancy Pelosi to Taiwan, considered a serious provocation by China. If her trip to this territory claimed by China lasted less than 24 hours, Ms Pelosi sparked the fury of Beijing by being the highest elected American official to visit Taipei in 25 years.
She hammered that the United States would not abandon the island, ruled by a democratic regime and which lives under the constant threat of an invasion by the Chinese army. In response, Beijing launched from Thursday noon (06:00 Belgian time) vast military maneuvers in six areas around Taiwan, at the level of busy trade routes.
“The exercises are starting” and will continue until Sunday noon (06:00 Belgian time), Chinese public television CCTV said in a message on social networks. “During this period, the vessels and aircraft concerned must not enter the waters and airspace concerned”.
In Pingtan, a Chinese island located near one of the areas where the maneuvers are taking place, military helicopters flew over the sky towards the Taiwan Strait, AFP journalists noted.
Preparing for war without looking for it
The Taiwanese army has indicated that it is “preparing for war without seeking war”.
According to the Global Times newspaper, which quotes military analysts, the exercises are on an “unprecedented” scale because missiles will fly over Taiwan for the first time.
“This is the first time that the Chinese army will launch live ammunition and long-range artillery fire over the Taiwan Strait,” said the daily, known for its nationalist tone.