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Taiwanese foreign minister says China drills game-plan for invasion

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Taiwan Foreign Minister Joseph Wu.

Sam Yeh | AFP | Getty Images

Taiwan’s foreign minister said on Tuesday that China was using the military drills it launched in protest against U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit as a game-plan to organize for an invasion of the
self-ruled island.

Joseph Wu, speaking at a press conference in Taipei, offered no timetable for a possible invasion of Taiwan, which is claimed by China as its own.

He said Taiwan wouldn’t be intimidated whilst the drills continued with China often breaching the unofficial median line down the Taiwan Strait.

“China has used the drills in its military play-book to organize for the invasion of Taiwan,” Wu said.

“It’s conducting large-scale military exercises and missile launches, in addition to cyberattacks, disinformation, and economic coercion, in an try to weaken public morale in Taiwan.

“After the drills conclude, China may attempt to routinise its motion in an try to wreck the long-term establishment across the Taiwan Strait,” Wu said.

Such moves threatened regional security and provided “a transparent image of China’s geostrategic ambitions beyond Taiwan”, Wu said, urging greater international support to stop China effectively controlling the strait.

A Pentagon official said on Monday that Washington was sticking to its assessment that China wouldn’t attempt to invade Taiwan for the following two years.

Wu spoke as military tensions simmer after the scheduled end on Sunday of 4 days of the largest-ever Chinese exercises surrounding the island – drills that included ballistic missile launches and simulated sea and air attacks within the skies and seas surrounding Taiwan.

China’s Eastern Theatre Command announced on Monday that it will conduct fresh joint drills specializing in anti-submarine and sea assault operations – confirming the fears of some security analysts and diplomats that Beijing would sustain the pressure on Taiwan’s defences.

On Tuesday, the command said it continued to carry military drills and exercises within the seas and airspace around Taiwan, with a give attention to blockades and resupply logistics.

An individual conversant in security planning within the areas around Taiwan described to Reuters on Tuesday a seamless “standoff” across the median line involving about 10 warships each from China and Taiwan.

“China continued to attempt to press in to the median line,” the person said.

“Taiwan forces there have been attempting to keep the international waterways open.”

Taiwan’s Defence Ministry said on Tuesday that China’s continued military exercises “highlight that its threat of force has not decreased”.

As Pelosi left the region last Friday, China also ditched some lines of communication with america, including theatre level military talks and discussions on climate change.

Taiwan began its own long-scheduled drills on Tuesday, firing howitzer artillery out to sea within the southern county of Pingtung, attracting a small crowd of curious onlookers to a close-by beach.

U.S. President Joe Biden, in his first public comments on the problem since Pelosi’s visit, said on Monday he was concerned about China’s actions within the region but he was not apprehensive about Taiwan.

“I’m concerned they’re moving as much as they’re,” Biden told reporters in Delaware, referring to China. “But I do not think they’ll do anything greater than they’re.”

Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Colin Kahl also said the U.S. military would proceed to perform voyages through the Taiwan Strait in the approaching weeks.

China has never ruled out taking Taiwan by force and on Monday Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said that China was conducting normal military exercises “in our waters” in an open, transparent and skilled way, adding Taiwan was a part of China.

Taiwan rejects China’s sovereignty claims, saying only the Taiwanese people can determine the island’s future.

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