China drills ‘simulating attack’, says Taiwan

Taiwan says China’s military drills appear to simulate an attack on the self-ruled island, after multiple Chinese warships and aircraft crossed the median line of the Taiwan Strait

Updated - August 06, 2022 06:34 pm IST

Published - August 06, 2022 01:07 pm IST - BEIJING:

Taiwanese F-5 fighter jets are seen after taking off from Chihhang Air Base in Taitung, Taiwan. Taiwan on August 6, 2022.

Taiwanese F-5 fighter jets are seen after taking off from Chihhang Air Base in Taitung, Taiwan. Taiwan on August 6, 2022. | Photo Credit: Annabelle Chih

China on Saturday continued its military exercises in six regions surrounding Taiwan for a third day, with the Chinese military saying it was testing its land strike and sea assault capabilities.

Taiwan said the drills were a “possible simulated attack” on the island. “Multiple PLA craft were detected around Taiwan Strait, some have crossed the median line,” the Ministry of National Defence said, adding that it had deployed naval vessels and activated land-based missile systems in response. On Friday, a record 68 Chinese aircraft and 13 warships had crossed the median of the Taiwan Strait.

China’s military drills, which will continue until Sunday, came as a response to U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan on Wednesday. The drills, Chinese anlaysts have said, could herald a new normal in China’s deployments around Taiwan.

Taking place in six regions surrounding the island, the exercises have placed an effective blockade on Taiwan’s waters and airspace, and also for the first time entered 12 nautical miles of the coast, into what Taiwan sees as its waters. China has also fired conventional missiles over the island.

Amid the tensions, Taiwan media reported on Saturday a top military official overseeing missile production died from a heart attack. Ouyang Li-hsing, 57, deputy to the president of the National Chung-Shan Institute of Science and Technology (NCSIST), was in charge of supervising the manufacturing of missiles. Reports said he fell ill and was found in his hotel in Pingtung. A relative told the police that he had “a history of chronic coronary artery disease”, local media reports said.

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