On Saturday August 6, Beijing army planes crossed the median line, this unofficial demarcation between Taiwan and mainland China, 14 times, according to Taiwanese authorities. relayed by the South China Morning Post. “The Ministry of Defense added that Chinese ships circumnavigated the main island 14 times on Saturday morning.”
For Taipei, the nature of the unprecedented military exercises launched the day after the visit to the island of Nancy Pelosi, number three of the American administration, is similar to a simulation of an attack against Taiwan.
Establishing a new normal
According to experts interviewed by the newspaper located in Hong Kong, these maneuvers, supposed to end on Sunday, could become recurrent around the island, over which Beijing claims its sovereignty. “The Chinese military is trying to establish a new normal by regularly crossing the median line, which would give Taiwan less time to react in the event of an attack in the future”, analyzes Ma Chen-kun. According to this professor specializing in Chinese military affairs, questioned by the South China Morning Postthe six exercise zones, “which form a de facto blockade of the island”further aim to limit Taiwan’s military action capability, which could be replicated in the future.
So far, the Taiwan Defense Forces abide by their principle “aiming not to seek escalation but to defend against attack”. Analysts contacted by the South China Morning Post urge in this context to Taipei “not to let Beijing continue down this path,” but without further details. At this point, believes political scientist Tung Li-wen, “it is no longer a question of ‘if’ but of ‘when’ and ‘how’ the attack will take place”.