China begins second day of maneuvers around Taiwan to practice 'seizure of power'

The Chinese Army continues, this Friday, with the military exercises that began on Thursday around Taiwan, and which on this day will include “integrated operations inside and outside the archipelago and proof of the joint capabilities to seize power,” according to military sources.

The spokesman for the Eastern Theater Command, Li Xi, announced in a statement that the maneuvers – dubbed Joint Sword – 2024A (“joined sword” in English) will also consist of “joint attacks and control of key areas.”

China's military action takes place in the same week it assumed the presidency of Taiwan William Lai (Lai Ching-te), considered a “troublemaker” by Beijing and who on Thursday asked the population for calm, mobilized the island's armed forces and assured that his Government will “determinedly” protect Taiwanese democracy.

The maneuvers included the participation of at least 42 Chinese aircraft and 31 ships around the island and its peripheral archipelagos, according to the Taiwanese Ministry of Defense.

Of those 42 planes, 28 crossed the dividing line of the Taiwan Strait, an unofficial border that had been respected by Beijing and Taipei for decades before 2022, or entered the self-proclaimed Taiwanese Air Identification Zone (ADIZ), the figure highest so far this year, according to the island portfolio.

The Chinese military defined the exercises as a “strong punishment” to the “separatist acts“of those who seek”Taiwan independence”, while the Foreign Ministry of the Asian giant assured that these are “legitimate and necessary” movements.

The Taiwanese Foreign Ministry reiterated that the island “will continue to defend its belief in democracy” and will not change “due to coercion” from China.

China resorts to this type of maneuver for the fourth time since 2022, when it carried out the first of this caliber in response to the visit of the then speaker of the United States House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, to Taiwan, which infuriated Beijing. and raised the tension in the strait to levels unprecedented in decades.

The self-governed island, whose sovereignty Beijing claims, is one of the main reasons for friction between China and the US, since the North American country is Taiwan's main arms supplier and could intervene to defend it in the event of a conflict.