China Says Its Forces Surrounded Taiwan in Latest Invasion ‘Rehearsal’ – US Sends Cruiser in Response

A J-11 fighter jet attached to an aviation brigade of the air force under the PLA Eastern Theater Command takes off for a combat sortie during a round-the-clock flight training exercise / / Photo by Fu Gan

This past weekend saw a massive Chinese naval exercise which virtually surrounded the self-governing island republic of Taiwan, officially known as the Republic of China (ROC). Communist China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) and communist state media reported on the major drill some called a “rehearsal of possible real action.”

China’s Global Times (GT), a mouth piece for the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) provided the most details on the much-hyped drill when it reported that:

The Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) recently held a large-scale joint exercise surrounding the island of Taiwan from both sides, a move that experts said on Monday demonstrated and further boosted the PLA’s high level of combat preparedness over Taiwan and sent a strong warning to “Taiwan independence” secessionist forces and external interference forces at a time when those forces repeatedly made wrong remarks and actions on the Taiwan question.

By featuring a powerful aircraft carrier group east of the island, a large number of different types of warplanes and additional warships west of the island, plus conventional missiles, the PLA exercise was a partial rehearsal of a possible reunification-by-force operation, including the neutralization of the military potential of secessionist forces on the island and the cutting off of possible military intervention from countries like the US and Japan, analysts said.

GT added:

In preparation of and a possible real action of military conflict in the Taiwan Straits, all PLA forces will play their roles, as they will surround the entire island, seal it off and launch effective strikes, Song Zhongping, a Chinese mainland military expert and TV commentator, told the Global Times on Monday.

By having the Liaoning aircraft carrier group positioned east of Taiwan, the PLA  not only cuts off possible reinforcements from foreign interference forces, but also launches attacks on military bases east of the Taiwan island, and intercepts any escape attempts from secessionist forces, Song said.

Conventional missiles, most likely operated by the PLA Rocket Force, can effectively eradicate key military installations across Taiwan, including air defense systems, radar systems, missile positions, airfields, naval ports and other bases, Song said. Some types of missiles can also be used to deter and deny access of foreign warships to the region, he said.

However, despite all the air and naval forces arrayed against Taiwan during the drill, Song did note the apparent lack of amphibious landings and actions by ground forces during the exercise.

This major invasion drill appears to be a reaction to recent U.S. naval activity near Taiwan, as the American supercarrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) was active near the island nation on May 2.

And shortly after the drill a U.S. Navy Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser, the USS Port Royal (CG-73), transitioned the Taiwan Strait Tuesday, prompting a rebuke from China.

As part of its aggressive three-day dress rehearsal, Chinese military aircraft entered Taiwan’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ) multiple times. According to the ROC’s Ministry of National Defense, on Friday 12 Chinese fighter jets, two bombers and four other Chinese aircraft entered its ADIZ, followed by two bombers and three other aircraft on Saturday. Two more aircraft entered the ADIZ on SundayADN

Paul Crespo is the Managing Editor of American Defense News. A defense and national security expert, he served as a Marine Corps officer and as a military attaché with the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) at US embassies worldwide. Paul holds degrees from Georgetown, London, and Cambridge Universities. He is also CEO of SPECTRE Global Risk, a security advisory firm, and President of the Center for American Defense Studies, a national security think tank. - - PAULCRESPO.COM

Notify of
1 Comment
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
2 days ago

The notion that this is a response to U. S. Navy vessels sailing the high seas and the waters of Taiwan is not believable. China appears to be duplicating Putin’s “military exercise” leading up to the invasion of Ukraine. Few people were fooled by that, and China doesn’t fool us now. The only question is whether Chinese planners are correct to assume that a weak U. S. president means an ineffective U. S. response. That’s a chance China should not take, for the people rule here, not the President.

Having seen the promises broken in Hong Kong, the people of Taiwan know China’s words about respecting the rights of the people are dead leaves blowing in the wind. They will not submit to military coercion, for they literally do not want to live under the brutal rule of the Chinese Communist Party. China should realize that they will conquer nothing but a scorched rock, and the conquest will come at a tremendous price to their military, their international standing, and their export market.

People, Places & Things