Home News China launches ‘punishment’ military drills around Taiwan

China launches ‘punishment’ military drills around Taiwan

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China launches ‘punishment’ military drills around Taiwan

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The top line: A furious China launched “punishment” drills around Taiwan on Thursday in what it said was a response to “separatist acts”, sending up heavily armed warplanes and staging mock attacks as state media denounced newly inaugurated President Lai Ching-te.
The exercises, in the Taiwan Strait and around groups of Taiwan-controlled islands that sit next to the Chinese coast, come just days after Lai took office, a man Beijing detests as a “separatist”.

The bigger picture: Beijing, which split with Taipei at the end of a civil war 75 years ago, regards the island as a renegade province with which it must eventually be reunified.

The key quote: The latest show of force is a “strong punishment for the separatist acts of ‘Taiwan independence’ forces,” China’s military said as the drills got underway.
What else to know: The drills come after Lai Ching-te was sworn in as Taiwan’s new president this week and made an inauguration speech that China denounced as a “confession of independence”.
What happens next: Zhang Chi, a professor at Beijing’s China National Defense University, said the drills aimed to “strangle” Taiwan’s critical Kaohsiung port to “severely impact” its foreign trade. They would cut off “Taiwan’s lifeline of energy imports” as well as “block the support lines that some US allies provide to ‘Taiwan independence’ forces”, he added.

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