Report: China's Navy Begins Large-Scale Pacific Drills

    Report: China's Navy Begins Large-Scale Pacific Drills
    Last updated Sep 13, 2023
    Image credit: Wikimedia Commons


    • The Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) Navy has reportedly launched this week unannounced military drills in waters between Taiwan, the Philippines, and Guam, allegedly the largest ever involving an aircraft carrier in the western Pacific.
    • This comes as Taiwan claimed to have detected at least 84 warplanes and 33 warships around the island in the past three days, adding that some of them have joined the Shandong aircraft carrier for combat training.
    • At least 35 military planes — including J-10 fighters — were seen around the island on Wednesday, with 28 of them crossing the Taiwan Strait median line or entering the southwestern corner of Taipei's self-declared Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ).
    • Additionally, more than 20 PLA naval vessels — including Type 055 destroyers — reportedly sailed on Wednesday around Taiwan, through the Bashi Channel and Miyako Strait into the Pacific. Beijing has yet to comment on the military activity.
    • The Shandong entered the West Pacific on Monday, two days after the US Navy destroyer USS Ralph Johnson and the Canadian Navy frigate HMCS Ottawa sailed through the Taiwan Strait in a move that Beijing closely monitored.
    • Meanwhile, the Chinese Communist Party's Central Committee and the State Council revealed Tuesday an integration plan between the coastal province of Fujian and the self-ruling island of Taiwan to deepen cross-strait cooperation.


    Anti-China narrative

    Beijing is waging psychological warfare on Taiwan by periodically sending Chinese military aircraft into the island nation's Air Defense Identification Zone. This pressure campaign aims to intimidate Taiwanese leaders and their citizens to achieve a political outcome favorable to China. The US must stand with its democratic ally and reject efforts by the PRC to undermine Taiwanese sovereignty.

    Pro-China narrative

    The island of Taiwan has been an integral part of Chinese territory for centuries. However, the Chinese people on both sides of the Straits are yet to be reunified following the 1949 split. Beijing has long sought to peacefully reunify the motherland under the agreed-upon One China policy — which the US signed off on — but secessionist Taiwanese officials backed by the US have recently begun to pursue provocative actions that are threatening the status quo.

    Nerd narrative

    There's a 1% chance that China will launch a full-scale invasion of Taiwan in 2023, according to the Metaculus prediction community.

    Establishment split



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