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Military drill strong warning to Taiwan separatists | Updated: 2024-05-23 21:07
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Comprehensive strength on display

The military drill has many new features compared with earlier ones. It is much bigger in size. The number of troops involved is higher. The exercise area covers a wider area. The exercise is closer to an actual combat scenario.

The exercise has made several breakthroughs: First, PLA ships reached Wuqiu island and Dongyin island for the first time, sending an important warning to "Taiwan independence" forces. In Wuqiu island and other places, Taiwan has illegally declared "prohibited and restricted waters". The mainland's coast guard vessels entered the "restricted waters" for the first time, but not the "prohibited waters". It means, if the "Taiwan independence" forces escalate their provocation, the PLA may enter the "prohibited waters" to carry out inspections of Taiwan ships in the area and conduct combat-readiness patrols.

Second, the combat-readiness patrols are an important part of this exercise. PLA ships and planes came as close as ever to Taiwan Island. The Taiwan Island and adjacent islands, the waters near the island, the seabed and the sky, are all part of China's territory. The PLA has the right to navigate in the nation's territorial waters and the contiguous zone.

Third, this drill shows the characteristics of holding joint and integrated operations, and seizing comprehensive control of the sea, land and air. This time the coast guard is cooperating closely with the PLA. Meanwhile, according to the map released by the PLA Eastern Theater Command, it is operating closer to the east, south and north of Taiwan Island, including Kinmen, Matsu, Wuqiu and Dongyin islands. Besides, many new forces have joined the drill, including network forces, information support forces and information systems. These new forces play an essential role in boosting the PLA's comprehensive capabilities and joint strike capabilities.

Meng Xiangqing, a professor at the PLA National Defense University

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