China launches Taiwan attack drills on day two of combat training

On Sunday, the People's Republic of China's military force, the People's Liberation Army, continued combat drills around Taiwan and conducted simulated strikes on the island.

Reuters reports that Chinese state television claimed, "Under the unified command of the theatre joint operations command centre, multiple types of units carried out simulated joint precision strikes on key targets on Taiwan island and the surrounding sea areas, and continue to maintain an offensive posture around the island."

The move by China came after Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen's visit to the US on Wednesday and meeting with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy. 

On Saturday, the PLA began three-day military exercises and 71 Chinese military aircraft crossed the Taiwan Strait's meridian line, an unofficial demarcation between China and Taiwan.

The PLA Eastern Theatre Command said in a statement, "This is a serious warning to the Taiwan independence separatist forces and external forces' collusion and provocation, and it is a necessary action to defend national sovereignty and territorial integrity."

The Eastern Theatre Command released a short animation of their simulated attacks on Taiwain via WeChat. 

According to Reuters, "a source familiar with the security situation" told the outlet "Taiwan is not their only target" and the moves out of China were "very provocative."

On Sunday, Taiwan's defence ministry said they had observed around their island 11 ships and 70 Chinese aircraft such as H-6 bombers and Su-30 fighters.  Shandong, a Chinese aircraft carrier, sits 400 nautical miles off Taiwan's southeast coast for the duration of the drills.

The ministry said, "Regarding the movements of the Chinese communists' Rocket Force," the group that oversees China's  land-based missile system, "the nation's military also has a close grasp through the joint intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance system, and air defence forces remain on high alert."

Zhao Xiaozhuo of China's Academy of Military Sciences said to Chinese state media that the exercises are to practice finding key targets and "annihilate them in one fell swoop if necessary."


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