- China’s military has stepped up training to seize the islands, the Pentagon said.
- In a new report, the Pentagon assessed that Beijing’s island-keeping exercises have become more realistic.
- The US has accused China of aggressive behavior in Taiwan and the South China Sea.
China’s military is spending a lot of time conducting military exercises focused on seizing the islands, according to a new Defense Department report.
The report, made public by the Pentagon on Tuesday, outlines China’s latest military and security developments and aims to provide insight into Congress’s intentions and goals. A comprehensive assessment of China’s military might, the report highlights China’s threat to the self-governing democratic island of Taiwan.
China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) will hold diplomatic talks with Taiwan in 2021. Political and military pressures have increased, fueling regional intrigue and destabilizing actions, the Pentagon said in a statement.
These actions include “islanding exercises” and flights over Taiwan’s Air Defense Designated Zone (ADIZ) – activities that Beijing has continued well into 2022.
Similar to last year, the PLA conducted more than 20 island seizing exercises, compared to 13 the previous year, the Defense Department explained. A year. Chinese state media have previously touted some of these military exercises and drills conducted by the Chinese military in waters near Taiwan.
“Many of these exercises focus on combat realism and include night missions, training in adverse weather conditions and simultaneous multi-domain operations,” the Pentagon said in its report. Combat realism in the training has focused on Chinese leader Xi Jinping’s military modernization efforts. It aims to build a world-class force capable of fighting wars.
China’s leadership will never abandon the use of force as an option to achieve its unification goals with Taiwan, which it considers part of its sovereignty.
In a special assessment of China’s potential military action against Taiwan, the Pentagon concluded that a large-scale amphibious invasion would be a difficult feat for Beijing. significant contribution to a more complex operation to do so; Air and sea control and adequate support will be required. Doing so would significantly harm PLA forces and carry huge risks.
“The combination of inevitable forceful attrition, the complexity of civil war and insurgency, an amphibious invasion of Taiwan poses a clear political and military risk to Xi Jinping and the Chinese Communist Party, even assuming a successful landing and disengagement,” the Pentagon said.
But while China is struggling to invade Taiwan outright, the Defense Department noted that it could seize small Taiwanese-controlled islands in the South China Sea, such as Pratas or Itu Aba. “Invading a medium-sized, better-defended island such as Matsu or Kinmen is within the PLA’s capabilities,” the Pentagon said.
The Pentagon says such a move would show resolve while showing restraint, but there are still political risks, such as strong international condemnation.
In addition to Beijing’s long-standing focus on Taiwan, China has competing claims to islands and reefs in the South China Sea. China has strengthened its position by building military bases.
The US has accused China of aggressive behavior around the South China Sea. US officials have warned that China’s irresponsible behavior could lead to a major accident or accident. The latest warnings come amid heightened tensions between China and the United States over House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan.
Earlier this month, Vice President Kamala Harris made a rare visit to the Philippine island of Palawan, which overlooks contested territories in a strategic maritime route. China’s response was tougher than when Pelosi visited Taiwan.