What do China’s military exercises near Taiwan mean?

“As China and Japan have not demarcated a boundary on the relevant waters, China does not accept the notion of a so-called ‘Japanese exclusive economic zone,'” Hua said in response to a question about whether China’s military exercise would affect those waters.

The six zones for China’s exercises were chosen because of their importance in a potential campaign to cordon off Taiwan and repel foreign intervention, Maj. Gen. Meng Xiangqing, a strategy professor at the National Defense University in Beijing, said in an interview on Monday. Chinese television.

One zone covers the narrowest part of the Taiwan Strait. Others could be used to blockade a major port or attack three of Taiwan’s main military bases. One of them, facing southern Taiwan, “creates the conditions to close the door and beat the dog,” he said, using a Chinese proverb that refers to blocking an enemy’s escape route. He also stated that a larger show of force, using live ammunition, was planned.

CCTV, the main Chinese government television network, said that one of the missiles flew over Taiwan, marking another escalation of pressure on the island and risking a serious miscalculation. In response to a question about whether the Chinese missiles passed over Taipei, Taiwan’s Defense Ministry said the trajectory was “beyond the atmosphere” and was a harmless event.

However, General Meng said such a strategy was a priority for China’s military.

“Everyone can wait and see,” General Meng said of the exercises. “It is the first time that the military will conduct a joint military operation around the entire island of Taiwan,” he said. “It must be said that, although it is an exercise that resembles a real combat, at any moment it can turn into a real combat.”

The spread of belligerent propaganda from China, and the resulting rise in nationalist sentiment, may present a good time for a new offensive for Xi, the leader of the Communist Party. His path to a third term as leader at a party congress later this year has been hampered by faltering economic growth, largely caused by the Covid outbreaks and Xi’s fiercely strict response to them.

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