US General Highlights Chinese Military Drills as Invasion Preparation of Taiwan

World Defense

 US General Highlights Chinese Military Drills as Invasion Preparation of Taiwan

A senior US general has revealed that Chinese military drills in the Taiwan Strait simulated invasion tactics, although an actual attack is not imminent. The exercises reflect ongoing regional tensions and highlight the need for international cooperation to prevent conflict.

A senior US military official has stated that recent Chinese military exercises in the Taiwan Strait were designed to simulate key aspects of an invasion of Taiwan. However, he emphasized that an actual attack is neither imminent nor inevitable.

Lieutenant General Stephen Sklenka, the Deputy Commander of the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, addressed the issue during a speech in Canberra. He described the People's Liberation Army's (PLA) drills as including simulated maritime and air blockades, amphibious assaults, and counter-intervention operations. These exercises come amid escalating tensions between China and Taiwan, with China's government viewing the democratically governed Taiwan as part of its territory—a claim that Taiwan strongly disputes.

The latest round of military drills by China was a response to "separatist acts" and coincided with Taiwan's military mobilizing its forces. These actions followed closely after Lai Ching-te assumed office as Taiwan's new president, a figure Beijing labels as a "separatist." The drills included simulated attacks on foreign vessels and incursions into Taiwan's Air Defense Identification Zone, which have become increasingly common since 2022.

General Sklenka stressed the severity of a potential conflict in the Indo-Pacific region, highlighting the potential for significant loss of life, extensive global economic damage, and disruption to the international order that has maintained relative peace and stability for decades. He called for international cooperation to prevent such a conflict.

China's military activities have increased tensions not just with Taiwan but also with other regional neighbors. In recent months, China has engaged in provocative actions in the South China Sea, clashing with the Philippines and leading to a diplomatic dispute. In response, Japan and the United States have pledged to strengthen security ties with the Philippines. Additionally, China's harassment of neighboring countries in pursuit of its maritime claims has been described by Sklenka as bullying behavior.

In April and May, leading up to Taiwan's presidential inauguration, China intensified its military pressure, including mock attacks by fighter jets and close approaches by ships and planes to the island. This followed an incident where Australia criticized China for an unsafe aerial confrontation over the Yellow Sea, reflecting ongoing regional tensions.

Since 2021, the US military has recorded approximately 300 unsafe intercepts by Chinese aircraft, underscoring the persistent and aggressive nature of China's military maneuvers in the region. General Sklenka's comments underscore the need for vigilance and international cooperation to address these challenges and maintain regional stability.

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