China Conducts Military Drills Near Taiwan

    Photo: Flickr

    The Facts

    • On Saturday, the Eastern Theater Command of the Chinese People's Liberation Army launched military exercises in the waters and airspace around Taiwan reportedly to test its forces' capability in coordinated operations.

    • The military drills reportedly used missile-equipped vessels and fighter jets to simulate the surrounding of the island and deliver "a stern warning to the collusion of 'Taiwan independence' separatists with foreign elements and their provocations."

    The Spin

    Pro-China narrative

    Following Lai's provocative US transit, Beijing had no other option but to hold these joint military exercises around the island as a sharp countermeasure to punish secessionist forces and to safeguard China's sovereignty and territorial integrity. While it's in the PRC's best interest to peacefully reunite Taiwan with the mainland, Lai's provocations and conspiracy with foreign powers can't be tolerated.

    Anti-China narrative

    While Beijing may see Taiwanese leaders visiting the US as a threat to its claims over the island that it has never been ruled, Chinese warplanes have encroached on Taiwan's air defense zone nearly daily for months. Lai's US trips are just an excuse — China will use every pretext to undermine regional security and continuously oppress its peaceful neighbors.

    Nerd narrative

    There's a 5% chance that there will be armed conflict between Taiwan and the People's Republic of China before January 1, 2024, according to the Metaculus prediction community.

    Establishment split



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