No Worries, It’s Just a Drill

The Chinese provide details on their recent series of joint military exercises:

This is the first time the PLA will launch live long-range artillery across the Taiwan Straits, in a move that will demonstrate the PLA’s firm will and strong capability to safeguard national sovereignty and territorial integrity, and thwart secessionist attempts by “Taiwan independence” and external interfering forces, Zhang Junshe, a senior research fellow at the Naval Research Academy of the PLA, told the Global Times on Wednesday.

“If the conventional missiles of the PLA were to be launched from the mainland toward the west of Taiwan and hit targets to its east, this means that the missiles would fly over the island, which is unprecedented,” Chinese mainland military expert Zhang Xuefeng told the Global Times.

He also pointed out that five of the drill zones are set to the east of the so-called median line of the Taiwan Straits, and this means that the existence of the line is denied through the concrete action of the PLA.

Some drill zones are also for the first time set to include areas within 12 nautical miles to the island of Taiwan, but since Taiwan is a part of China, Taiwan’s so-called territorial sea is also China’s territorial sea, Zhang Xuefeng said.

Also, the PLA drills surrounding Taiwan are intended to show that it is capable of blockading the entire island and of resolving the Taiwan question through non-peaceful ways, if the situation becomes irretrievable, observers said.

So, the Chinese military has announced they’re going to be sailing vessels into previously respected territorial waters and firing missiles directly over the island. Which presumably means that the Taiwanese will have to be circumspect about ships and missiles approaching the island.


I don’t think China has any need to invade Taiwan, which is why I concluded that the eventual reunification with the mainland will be a mostly peaceful one akin to the recent Hong Kong reunification. But the stage has certainly been set for an invasion in the aftermath of the Pelosi visit.