Taiwan Wary Of Chinese Military Drills After Lai Inauguration

Taiwan Wary Of Chinese Military Drills After Lai Inauguration
Taiwan Wary Of Chinese Military Drills After Lai Inauguration

Ahead of President-elect Lai Ching Te’s inauguration on the 20th of May, the Taiwanese government is on alert for any provocative military displays from Beijing. Lai of the Democratic Progressive Party had won the January elections riding his pro-independence stance, much to China’s chagrin.

The soon to be leader expressed “special attention” for this issue since the month of June is also traditionally the start of the “hot season” for Beijing’s military operations.

He fears that China will use this period as an excuse “to carry out some military drills to further pressure Taiwan.” He also assured that the National Security Bureau is focused on handling the matter.

Since Lai’s victory, there has been tensions surrounding the Taiwan Strait. Taiwan’s Ministry of Defense (MoD) has been monitoring the activity constantly. On the day that Lai declared his wariness over the coming months, the MoD detected “a total of 7 ships had been detected and continued to operate around the Taiwan Strait.”

Meanwhile, Taiwan noted that China had been conducting night-time “joint combat readiness patrols.” These patrols included landing ships and minesweepers as well.

Beijing is also on alert this month as the Balikatan (shoulder to shoulder) joint military exercises of the United States and Philippines continue. The war simulations are set to take place outside Philippine territories for the first time. The sites of these drills are situated on the western and northern tips of the archipelago, pointed at the South China Sea and Taiwan respectively, two key areas of interest for the Americans.

“Balikatan is more than an exercise; it’s a tangible demonstration of our shared commitment to each other. It matters for regional peace, it matters for regional stability,” said Lt. Gene. William Jurney, Commander of US Marine Corps Forces.

Similarly in March, Taiwan conducted drills to defend against air raids. The military made use of US-supplied missiles during the operation. The Taiwanese Air Force said these were directly due to increased prevocational incursions by China in the region.

READ NEXT: Taiwan’s VP-elect Calls For 50% Female Representation In Legislature

TNL Editor: Kim Chan (@thenewslensintl)

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The article is in Dutch

Tags: Taiwan Wary Chinese Military Drills Lai Inauguration


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