China to conduct major military drill to seize Taiwan-held islands

05-Aug-2020 Intellasia | Mainichi | 6:02 AM Print This Post

China is expected to carry out a large-scale landing drill aimed at seizing the Taiwan-controlled Pratas Islands in the South China Sea in August, a professor at the National Defense University of the People’s Liberation Army said.

In his paper published in the August issue of a pro-China magazine in Hong Kong, however, Li Daguang, a prominent expert in military strategy, did not specify a date and place for the major drill by the Chinese army.

This photo taken in December 2016 shows Chinese vessels conducting a drill in the South China Sea. (Photo courtesy of CNS/Kyodo)

This photo taken in December 2016 shows Chinese vessels conducting a drill in the South China Sea. (Photo courtesy of CNS/Kyodo)

Although Kyodo News reported the plan in May, citing sources familiar the matter, it was the first time that a person related to the Chinese military acknowledged it.

Depending on the content of the drill, military tensions between China and the United States may escalate in the South China Sea, with US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper warning against the possible provocative action by Beijing.

The United States dispatched an aircraft carrier to the South China Sea in July, while Taiwan sent its marine force to the Pratas Islands for training in June.

Taiwan and mainland China have been separately governed since they split amid a civil war in 1949. Their relationship has deteriorated under independence-leaning Tsai Ing-wen, who has served as Taiwan’s president since 2016.

In Taiwan, fears are lingering that the Communist-led Chinese government, headed by President Xi Jinping, will try to achieve its cherished goal of reuniting the democratic island with the mainland, by force if needed, foreign affairs specialists say.

https://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20200803/p2g/00m/0in/110000c

 


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Category: China, Taiwan

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