World Taiwan Begins Missile Tests Amid Chinese Military Drills in South China Sea
As U.S., U.K. Converge on China, British Lawmaker Says 'Golden Era Is Over'
An "awakening" to the challenges posed by Beijing has caused a shift in attitude in the United Kingdom, says Tom Tugendhat, chair of China Research Group.Echoing recent sentiments expressed on Capitol Hill, Tom Tugendhat, who chairs the British Parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee, said there had been an "awakening" in the U.K. to the many irreconcilable practices of the Chinese government.
began the first of six missile tests on Wednesday, a day after the military revealed it had conducted an amphibious landing exercise as part of its month-long drills in the .
Wednesday and Thursday will see the first two rounds of tests carried out by Taiwan's state-owned weapons and technology developer, National Chung‑Shan Institute of Science and Technology. Four more rounds are scheduled between March 10 and 19, according to government notices released by the Council of Agriculture and Taiwan Fisheries Agency.
China plays the Trump card, but Biden is not buying it
Biden's forthright actions to date have earned him China’s condemnation for “Trumpism without Trump."China's leaders, however, believe that blaming the former administration for Sino-U.S. tensions will leverage anti-Trump animus for Biden's "flexibility" on contentious issues. With Trump gone, Washington can forget "the China threat" and revert to the "normalcy" that Beijing found so advantageous during the Clinton, Bush and Obama administrations.
Experts are expected to study Taiwan's domestically produced Hsiung Feng IIE surface-to-surface cruise missiles, as well as the island's Thunderbolt-2000 tactical rocket launcher—both capable of striking targets along the Chinese coast and further inland.
According to Taiwan's state-funded Central News Agency (CNA), the missile tests have attracted the attention of China's deep-sea scientific research vessel Dong Fang Hong 3, which appeared for the first time in the waters east of Taiwan this week. The ship has intelligence-gathering capabilities, reported CNA, citing a military source.
On Monday, Taiwan's Coast Guard Administration said it held live-fire drills on the Pratas Island—also known as Dongsha—and is planning another exercise on Itu Aba, which Taiwan calls Taiping Island, on March 23. Both islands are in the contested South China Sea and administered by Taiwan, while the latter is the largest of the disputed Spratly Islands.
As China Gray Zone Warfare Escalates, U.S. May Stand to Lose First Shooting Battle
"I think China now has adequate forces, including air, missile, electronic warfare, spec ops, naval, undersea and nuclear to likely prevail in the first phase and perhaps in subsequent phases too," Lyle Goldstein of the Naval War College's China Maritime Studies Institute told Newsweek.But one wrong move could lead to catastrophe, or even all-out conflict. And if a shooting battle does break out, there's a solid chance the U.S. could lose the first fight with the People's Liberation Army.
The quarterly coast guard drills will coincide with other live-fire combat readiness exercises by Taiwan's air force and navy throughout the month.
Analysts in Taiwan say the missile tests and coast guard drills will have been planned far in advance, but the timing of the announcements this week was likely more than just coincidence.
On Friday, a no-go zone notice put out by China's Maritime Safety Administration preceded a month-long comprehensive military drill scheduled for the entirety of March.
Commentators appearing on Chinese state broadcaster CCTV's Defense Review program described Taiwan's exercises in the South China Sea as "military posturing," saying the government of the self-ruled island was hoping to boost public morale with a show of force.
The People's Liberation Army drills in the contested waters will take place within a 3.1-mile radius off Leizhou Peninsula, which forms part of the southern province of Guangdong, the government notice said. They come amid separate live-fire exercises in the Yellow Sea and East China Sea, according to Chinese state media reports.
Top China Diplomat Warns Biden to Tread Carefully on Taiwan
A top Chinese diplomat urged the U.S. to stop “crossing lines and playing with fire” on Taiwan, as part of a broad series of warnings to President Joe Biden against meddling in Beijing’s affairs. © Photographer: Qilai Shen/ Warships dock near a river ferry crossing on the Yangtze River in Wuhan, China. Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said at his annual news briefing on Sunday there was “no room for compromise or concessions” in Beijing’s claim to sovereignty over the democratically ruled island. Wang’s response on Taiwan was one of several in which he hit out at the U.S.
A CCTV report on Wednesday said China's Southern Theater Command recently conducted exercises involving all branches of the PLA: its ground force, navy, air force, rocket force and strategic support force.
The, meanwhile, broadcast footage of marines and a battle tank storming a beach in a simulated landing drill, fueling media speculation in Taipei that Beijing was preparing for an eventual invasion of the island.
Taiwan's defense ministry said it would be closely monitoring Chinese military exercises this month, but China is also tracking the movements of other countries in the region.
The South China Sea Probing Initiative, a Beijing-based think tank monitoring military activity by the U.S. and its allies, said U.S. reconnaissance aircraft flew 75 sorties in the area in February.
The figures showed an "uptick from the previous months," SCSPI reported Tuesday, when it also noted the appearance of a Royal Australian Air Force maritime patrol aircraft in the East China Sea.
China lays claim to almost all of the South China Sea, where other claimants include Taiwan, the Philippines and Vietnam.
How will President Biden manage US-Taiwan relations?
The Biden administration has said that managing US-China relations is a top priority. One flashpoint for a potential conflict between the two countries is the island of Taiwan. From Beijing’s perspective, Taiwan is a rogue province that must never be treated as an independent country, even though it effectively runs its own affairs. Washington says it's determined to keep the democratic territory free. But where does Taiwan stand in all of this? Host Marco Werman talks with Bi-khim Hsiao, Taiwan’s top diplomat in the US. TRANSCRIPT:Marco Werman:Right at the top of the Biden administration's foreign policy challenges is the question of how to deal with China.
Regularhave challenged maritime claims in the region. Warships sent by other Western navies have also been spotted sailing through the disputed sea.
The U.K.'s flagship aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth is expected to pass through the South China Sea and sensitive Taiwan Strait this summer during its deployment to the East China Sea. Officials in Germany told Reuters on Tuesday that one of the country's warships would transit the South China Sea for the first time in 19 years this August.
China's defense ministry has warned against using freedom of navigation operations to increase the presence of military vessels in the South China Sea.
Without naming specific governments, the ministry on Monday urged "relevant nations" to "stop provoking tensions in the South China Sea."
China says it will respond to 'all threats' as US Navy destroyer USS John Finn sails through Taiwan Strait .
This is the third time that a US warship has sailed through the highly contentious area since Biden took office. China has responded to the destroyer's presence, vowing a swift response to all threats. Visit Insider's homepage for more stories. A US Navy destroyer has sailed through the Taiwan Strait in what it calls a "routine" exercise - a move that has once again triggered Beijing's ire. According to a statement from the US Navy's 7th Fleet, the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS John Finn was conducting a routine transit per international law.