Wikimedia Commons, by Alert5: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:J-20_at_Airshow_China_2016.jpg

Communist China is now using the unprecedented war games it is conducting off the coast of Taiwan as a showcase for its new found military might.

As The Wall Street Journal reports:


On Sunday, the People’s Liberation Army said it conducted joint training in waters and airspace near the island to test the PLA’s capacity for striking ground targets and engaging in long-range aerial combat. China Central Television aired footage of the drills in its evening newscast, showing jet fighters and strategic bombers, the latter armed with air-to-surface missiles, carrying out what the state broadcaster described as simulated attacks.

The drills, announced in response to U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s Tuesday visit to Taiwan, marked China’s most striking show of force in decades near the self-governed island that Beijing claims as its territory. The maneuvers also offered clues to how a Chinese assault on Taiwan could unfold, demonstrating the PLA’s ability to impose an aerial and maritime blockade on the island ahead of amphibious landings.

“China now clearly has the confidence and the capability to conduct exercises close to Taiwan itself, from all directions,” said M. Taylor Fravel, a professor and director of the security studies program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

“The exercises demonstrate that China may now be able to carry out some kinds of operations that it may have been unable to do in the past, such as carrying out an actual blockade of Taiwan’s ports, perhaps closing the Taiwan Strait,” Mr. Fravel said, adding that Beijing will likely continue to conduct similar drills to pressure Taipei in future.

PLA officials claimed the exercises showed China’s newfound ability to militarily deter the U.S. from assisting Taiwan during a crisis.

 




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