China Begins Life-Fire Military Exercises In six Zones Around Taiwan

Taiwan is bracing for China to begin three days of live-fire military drills today after a high-profile visit to the island by Nancy Pelosi, the U.S. House speaker.

China, which claims Taiwan as its own, called the drills a warning. It framed them as punishment for Pelosi’s visit, and as a shock-and-awe deterrent against opponents of Beijing’s claims to the self-ruled island.

But they may also serve as a trial run. China’s military buildup has reached a point where some military commanders and analysts think an invasion is an increasingly plausible, though still highly risky, scenario.

The six exercise zones that the People’s Liberation Army has marked out in seas off Taiwan — one nudging less than 10 miles (about 16 kilometers) off its southern coast — could give its forces valuable practice, should they one day be ordered to encircle and attack the island.

U.S.: The Biden administration is now pondering how it would respond to a slow squeeze of the island by China.

China also used its status as Taiwan’s largest trading partner to lash out, announcing new trade curbs yesterday, including suspensions on some fruit and fish imports and a ban on exports of sand, a key building material.

Europe is increasingly wary about China’s human rights abuses. But its countries have mostly sought to avoid the conflict over Pelosi’s trip and do not officially support independence for Taiwan.

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Orionframe

Abioye Tosin Lawrence is a prolific writer, An Online Practising Journalist.

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