Jul 24, 2023, 12:52pm EDT
securityEast Asia

Taiwan is responding to China’s intimidation


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The News

Taiwan began its annual Han Kuang live-fire exercises and air-raid drills Monday, in a show of strength against increasing aggression from China.

In recent weeks, Beijing has sent a record number of warships to waters surrounding the self-governed island, Taiwan’s Defense Ministry reported.

We’ve curated reporting and expert analysis on this year’s war games and what it means for the residents of Taiwan.

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  • Civilians in Taiwan will witness a “stronger enforcement” of air raid drills in certain designated districts this year, said TaiwanPlus correspondent Leslie Liao. Earlier, residents were simply to go indoors during a simulation, but this time around they will be ushered into makeshift air-raid shelters with instructions to take cover for 30 minutes. But in the event of a real attack “there’s no telling how long these people would have to be here,” Liao said.
  • Taiwanese military analysts are fearful of Beijing’s “incremental encroachment” of the island. China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has flown 60% more aircraft into Taiwan’s Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) –– a “self-declared buffer zone in international airspace” — since the same time period last year, according to Taiwan’s Defense Ministry. Beijing is aiming to test the island’s capabilities and “wear down our defenses,” said Lee Jyun-yi, a conflict expert at the defense ministry’s Taipei think-tank. Ultimately, he predicted, China will “strengthen” its control over the Taiwan Strait and “change its legal status.” — The Financial Times
  • Apart from preparing civilians for a Chinese attack, Taiwan’s drills are also sending a message to China that invading Taiwan will be “far too costly,” said former Pentagon official Tony Hu. The preparedness of the people will itself act as a “deterrent” and China will “hopefully… recognize the fact that Taiwan is not easy for you to get,” Hu said. — The Daily Beast