China Conducts Large-Scale 'Combat' Drills Near Taiwan

    Photo: Anadolu Agency/Getty Images [via CNN]

    The Facts

    • China's military said on Sunday that it has conducted large-scale "joint combat readiness patrols and actual combat drills" around Taiwan, marking the second round of drills in less than a month.

    • A statement from the PRC's People's Liberation Army (PLA) Eastern Command said the combat drills were to test troops' ability to counter provocative activities by "external forces" and separatist elements seeking Taiwan's independence.

    The Spin

    Pro-establishment narrative

    China is preparing for war against Taiwan as part of its policy of "reunification" with the semi-autonomous island, and the only way to prevent such an event is to bolster Washington's deterrence and power projection in the region through additional national security funding. This would also convince US regional allies to invest more in their security. Dictatorships in this rising tide of autocracy understand only the language of power — Russia's Ukraine invasion is proof that Washington must act now before it's too late.

    Establishment-critical narrative

    Due to the overbearing US actions and Washington's apparent departure away from the One China policy, tensions between China and the US are rising. As with Ukraine, Washington and its Western allies are using Taiwan for geopolitical goals instead of focusing on the fact that the Taiwanese voted in local elections against such an aggressive stance against China. Beijing is pursuing the goal of peaceful reunification, but since the hegemonic US misinterprets this as a "sign of weakness," the risk of military escalation is increasing.

    Nerd narrative

    There is a 16% chance that the US and China will be at war by 2035, according to the Metaculus forecasting community.

    Establishment split



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