China defends military drills near Taiwan, claiming that they were provoked by “external forces.”
According to the Associated Press, China defended its recent military drills near Taiwan, claiming that they were caused by “foreign forces.”
China announced earlier this week that it had conducted beach landing and assault maneuvers in the province on the mainland that borders Taiwan. Tensions have remained high between Taiwan and the mainland.
The drills were triggered, according to Ma Xiaoguang, a spokesperson for the mainland government’s Taiwan Affairs Office, by “Taiwan independence forces” working with “foreign forces.”
According to the Associated Press, Hoo Tiang Boon, the coordinator of the China program at Singapore’s S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, said, “With every step, the Chinese are attempting to shift the status quo and normalize the situation through this salami slicing.”
“They know Taiwan can’t do anything about it,” Hoo continued, “and the concern is that miscalculations or disasters are possible.”
See the list below for more Associated Press reporting.
Experts think that a direct battle is improbable at this time, but as the future of self-ruled Taiwan becomes more of a tinderbox, a misstep or miscalculation might spark a conflict when Chinese and American objectives clash.
China wants to reclaim control of the strategically and symbolically significant island, while the US sees Taiwan as part of a larger Chinese assault.
“The concept of a great power rivalry with China has pushed this back up the agenda,” said Henry Boyd, a defense analyst with the International Institute for Strategic Studies in the United Kingdom.
“The desire to stand up to China is such a powerful motivator that failing to do so would be perceived as a betrayal of American national interests.”
China claims Taiwan as its own, and Beijing’s political and military strategy revolves around its control of the island. On the weekend, Chinese President Xi Jinping reiterated that “national reunification must be realized, and will undoubtedly be realized,” a goal made more achievable by huge advancements in China’s military forces over the last two decades.
As a result, the US has increased its support for Taiwan and shifted its attention to the Indo-Pacific area more widely. “We. We. We. We. We. We. We. We. We. We. We. We. We. We. We. We. We. We. We. We. We. We. We. We. We. We. We. We. We. We. We. We. We. We. This is a condensed version of the information.