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

    Photo: Wikimedia Commons

    The Facts

    • 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.

    The Spin

    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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