ALERT: ‘Punishment’ Drills Underway

( – The vicious regime of Communist China has flexed its military muscle in defiance of its democratic island neighbor Taiwan and its unofficial alliance with the United States by initiating severe “punishment” exercises, such as deploying heavily armed aircraft and conducting simulated attacks.

Thursday’s maneuvers were billed as a countermeasure to what Communist China’s media termed “separatist acts” – a reference to the inauguration of Taiwan’s newly elected President Lai Ching-te.

Communist China has claimed the island of Taiwan, a successful democracy, as its province since the end of the Chinese Civil War in 1949.

The Eastern Theatre Command of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) orchestrated joint military drills that incorporated elements from the army, navy, air force, and rocket force.

An array of fighter jets equipped with live ammunition were dispatched, state media reported.

Over a span of two days, these military assets, including jets and warships, were tasked with simulating strikes on high-value military targets.

“This is also a strong punishment for the separatist acts of Taiwan independence forces and a stern warning against the interference and provocation by external forces,” declared the Chinese military.

These exercises were conducted in the Taiwan Strait and near groups of islands controlled by Taiwan, situated adjacent to the Chinese coast.

Labeled as “Joint Sword – 2024A,” these exercises mark the first occasion China has conducted such military operations around the islands of Kinmen, Matsu, Wuqiu, and Dongyin.

The exercises are intended to test “joint real combat capabilities,” according to statements from the Chinese military.

The naming of the operation with an “A” indicates the likelihood of multiple exercises being staged by Beijing this year in opposition to Lai’s rise to power.

Lai, who is reviled by Beijing as a “separatist” due to his rejection of the notion that Taiwan is part of Chinese territory, assumed office on Monday.

In his inaugural address, he affirmed the sovereignty of his nation and urged China to cease its hostile posturing towards Taiwan.

He emphasized that the two sides of the strait “are not subordinate to each other,” which was perceived as a direct challenge to Beijing.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi branded Lai “disgraceful,” and Beijing has consistently spurned the Taiwanese president’s proposals for dialogue between the two states.

China’s state broadcaster, CCTV, described Lai’s inauguration speech as “extremely harmful” and justified China’s retaliatory measures as “legitimate, legal, and necessary.”

Su Tzu-yun, a research fellow at Taiwan’s Institute for National Defence and Security Research, noted that the scale of Thursday’s drill is unusually large and aimed at demonstrating Beijing’s capacity to control maritime territories and deter foreign intervention.

“The political signals here are greater than the military ones,” he observed.

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