Beijing has been conducting military maneuvers since Thursday (4). The largest held around Taiwan, in response to Pelosi’s trip, which the Chinese government called a provocation. China considers the island as part of its territory.
According to Taiwan’s Ministry of Defense, the plane crossed the line of the Taiwan Strait, which delimits the airspace of the two countries.
Taiwan’s military fires 155-inch projectiles during a live-fire military exercise in Pingdong County – Photo: Sam Ye / AFP Photo
In response, Taiwan’s government also began conducting military exercises with live ammunition on Tuesday — in response to Beijing, which has used live ammunition and fired missiles into the Taiwan Strait.
Taiwan’s military said its drills began with explosions and artillery fire in China’s remote southern Pingdong County.
In addition to the aircraft, about 20 Chinese and Taiwanese naval vessels have been stationed near the middle of the Taiwan Strait, underscoring rising tensions in the region.
China and the Taiwanese government have been at loggerheads over the island for decades, since anti-communist resistance took refuge there.
The island of Taiwan was captured by China from Japan in 1945 after World War II. But soon, China entered a civil war, with communist and nationalist forces clashing. The Communists led by Mao Zedong won the conflict, causing the Nationalists to flee to Taiwan, seize the island and declare the National Republic of China there.
The Nationalists claimed that it was the legitimate government of China in exile. Beijing, led by the Communist Party, maintains that Taiwan remains part of its territory and will take it back by force if necessary.
However, over the past few decades, both sides have “settled” their cause: Beijing has not attempted to occupy the island, nor has Taipei moved forward with plans to become independent.
But that strategy has changed in recent years. The current President of China, Xi Jinping, seeking re-election, has re-hardened his anti-Taiwan rhetoric and resumed military exercises across the island in the past year.. The stance coincided with the rise to power in the US of Democrat Joe Biden, who has been vocal in his support for Taiwan independence, and his predecessor Donald Trump has not touched on it.
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