The background is the visit of the US politician Pelosi to the island.
In the past few days, according to Taiwanese authorities, Chinese fighter jets have penetrated Taiwan’s air defense zone – a kind of buffer zone that is larger than the actual airspace. Chinese warships have also been sighted in the Taiwan Strait, the strait that separates the democratically ruled island from the mainland.
As announced, the Chinese military is said to have now started large-scale maneuvers near Taiwan. This was reported by Chinese state television. Live ammunition should also be used. Pictures of fighter jets and warships in the area could already be seen on state television.
Taiwan’s defense ministry said it was closely monitoring the situation. The island nation’s armed forces would act on the principle of “preparing for war without wanting war”. No escalation of the conflict is sought either.
Beijing also imposes economic sanctions
The exact extent of the military exercises is still unclear. The communist leadership has designated six areas around Taiwan as possible maneuver zones, some of which overlap with Taiwanese territorial waters. What this means for civil shipping and air traffic is not foreseeable. Taiwan fears a naval and air blockade as a result of the maneuvers announced.
If the threats are carried out, missiles could be fired into the water just a few kilometers off Taiwan’s coast. In addition, the state and party leadership in Beijing has imposed economic sanctions on the democratically governed island. Numerous foods from Taiwan may no longer be imported into the People’s Republic.
Chinese customs have also imposed export bans. Among other things, sand may no longer be delivered to Taiwan, an important raw material for the construction industry.
China outraged by Pelosi visit
The communist leadership regards Taiwan as its own territory and is outraged by the visit of US top politician Nancy Pelosi. For weeks, representatives of the People’s Republic had warned against such a visit in sharp words. In the past few days, the rhetoric has intensified again.
The visit was also widely commented on in Chinese online networks – mostly with nationalistic tones, but also with irony and humour. The short message service Weibo was temporarily unavailable in the hours surrounding Pelosi’s arrival in Taiwan due to overload.