China Starts “Joint Sword-2024A” Military Drills Around Taiwan

China has recently launched an extensive military exercise named “Joint Sword-2024A,” involving the army, navy, air force, and rocket force. This move, described as a “strong punishment” for separatist activities in Taiwan, aims to showcase China’s military prowess and capability to conduct joint operations. The exercise’s broad scope and strategic implications underscore its significance in the regional security landscape.

The Eastern Theater Command of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) initiated joint military drills surrounding the island of Taiwan from 7:45 a.m. on Thursday. The drills are being conducted in the Taiwan Strait, the north, south, and east of Taiwan Island, as well as areas around the islands of Kinmen, Matsu, Wugiu, and Dongyin. Li Xi, spokesperson for the theater command, stated that the army, navy, air force, and rocket force are being organized to conduct these joint drills from Thursday to Friday.

The exercises focus on joint sea-air combat-readiness patrols, joint seizure of comprehensive battlefield control, and joint precision strikes on key targets. These activities involve patrols of vessels and planes closing in on areas around the island of Taiwan and integrated operations inside and outside the island chain, testing the joint real combat capabilities of the command’s forces. The spokesperson emphasized that the drills also serve as a stern warning against the interference and provocation by external forces and a strong punishment for the separatist acts of “Taiwan independence” forces.

A training manual for PLA officers, titled “Japanese Air Self-Defense Force,” highlights the strategic importance of Taiwan. The manual suggests that reunification with Taiwan would place Japan’s maritime lines of communication within China’s striking range, potentially crippling Japan’s economic activities and military capabilities. This perspective underscores the broader regional implications, extending the significance of these drills beyond Taiwan to neighboring countries like Japan.

Klaus Bardenhagen, a journalist specializing in Taiwan affairs, noted that these drills were planned well in advance and are part of a broader strategy affecting the regional security landscape. “They want you to panic,” Bardenhagen posted, indicating the psychological dimension of these military maneuvers.

Noah Smith, a commentator on geopolitical affairs, drew parallels between China’s actions towards Taiwan and Russia’s aggression towards Ukraine. He suggested that Japan could be the next target if Taiwan falls under Beijing’s control. This sentiment is echoed in the PLA’s training manual, which explicitly states the strategic benefits for China in controlling Taiwan.

Alexander Campbell, Rose AI CEO, pointed out China’s extensive stockpiling of essential resources such as copper, iron, food, and energy. These measures are seen as preparations for a potential prolonged conflict and the economic disruptions that might follow an aggressive move on Taiwan.

Alongside physical military maneuvers, the PLA is reportedly engaging in significant information warfare. Observers highlighted disinformation tactics employed by the PLA, referencing past incidents where altered images were used to exaggerate Chinese military presence near Taiwan. This suggests that China is also focusing on psychological operations aimed at shaping public perception and sowing confusion.

Information for this briefing was found via the sources mentioned. The author has no securities or affiliations related to this organization. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.

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