China Launches Two Days of ‘Punishment’ Military Drills Around Taiwan

The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) of China on Thursday launched two days of aggressive military drills around Taiwan, including flights by armed warplanes and simulated attacks on the island.

The PLA described the drills as “strong punishment for the separatist acts of Taiwan independence forces and a stern warning against the interference and provocation by external forces.”

This was presumably a reference to the inauguration on Monday of Taiwan’s new president, William Lai Ching-te. Lai succeeded two-term President Tsai Ing-wen, also a member of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and also denounced by China as a “separatist.”

Communist China attempted to intimidate the Taiwanese out of voting for Lai, and, when that failed, it howled that his largely conciliatory inaugural speech was a “confession of Taiwan independence” by a “dangerous separatist.”

In one passage from his speech, Lai advised China to “face up to the fact that the Republic of Taiwan exists.” Many observers felt this was the line that enraged Beijing. (Read more from “China Launches Two Days of ‘Punishment’ Military Drills Around Taiwan” HERE)