China's Military Drills Around Taiwan Test 'Seizure of Power' Capability: Beijing's Warning to Independence Forces

World Defense

China's Military Drills Around Taiwan Test 'Seizure of Power' Capability: Beijing's Warning to Independence Forces

China has initiated extensive military drills around Taiwan following President Lai Ching-te's inauguration, escalating tensions and warning of severe consequences for "independence forces." The international community, including the UN and the US, has called for restraint amidst this display of military power.

China has initiated extensive military exercises encircling Taiwan, declaring these drills as a test of its ability to seize control over the island. This move comes just days after Lai Ching-te was inaugurated as Taiwan's new president.

Starting on Thursday morning, the exercises, named “Joint Sword-2024A,” have involved Chinese naval vessels and military aircraft surrounding Taiwan. The drills were accompanied by strong statements from Beijing, warning that the blood of “independence forces” on the island would flow.

The two-day exercises, set to conclude on Friday, are designed to test the capabilities of joint seizure, strikes, and control of key territories, according to Li Xi, spokesperson for the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Eastern Theater Command.

Escalating Tensions

The exercises are part of China's ongoing campaign to intimidate Taiwan, which has included a series of large-scale military maneuvers in recent years. The latest drills follow President Lai Ching-te’s inauguration speech, which China condemned as a declaration of independence.

Beijing, which sees Taiwan as a breakaway province, has stated that these drills serve as “strong punishment for the separatist acts of ‘Taiwan independence’ forces.” Chinese state media has shown footage of soldiers preparing for battle and jets taking off, with reports of Chinese sailors warning their Taiwanese counterparts against resisting reunification by force.

International Reactions

The United Nations has called for all sides to avoid escalating the situation, while the United States, Taiwan’s primary ally, has urged China to exercise restraint.

In response to the drills, President Lai affirmed his commitment to defending Taiwan, stating he would “stand on the front line,” though he did not specifically mention the ongoing exercises.

Chinese Statements and Media Coverage

China’s foreign ministry and state media have used harsh language in their warnings to Taiwan. Spokesperson Wang Wenbin stated that Taiwan independence forces would face severe consequences. Editorials in the Xinhua news agency and the People’s Daily have also criticized President Lai's actions and supported the military exercises.

Scope of the Drills

The drills are being conducted in the Taiwan Strait and to the north, south, and east of the island, including areas around the Kinmen, Matsu, Wuqiu, and Dongyin islands administered by Taipei. Taiwan’s defense ministry reported that the Chinese military approached within 24 nautical miles of Taiwan's main island.

Future Developments

While the drills are scheduled to end on Friday, analysts suggest that China could extend the exercises or escalate further, potentially launching missiles near Taiwan, as seen after then-US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to the island in 2022.


China’s military exercises around Taiwan mark a significant escalation in cross-strait tensions, highlighting Beijing's increasing pressure on the self-ruled island. The international community remains watchful, urging restraint to avoid further escalation.

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