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The new five "carratteristics" of Taiwan's military encirclement

Speed and practicality of the military operation, normalization of encirclement (reproduction of the "Kinmen model"), improved coordination between police and military, and sufficiency of the PLA's Eastern Theater alone to "strangle" the island

Eastern Theater spokesman Colonel Li Xi said that from May 23 to 24, the Eastern Theater concurrently activated the Chinese army, navy, air force, missile force and other forces to carry out the "Joint Sword-2024A" exercise around Taiwan Island.

According to Professor Jin Canrong, an expert on Sino-U.S. relations, "The purpose of this two-day military exercise around the island is very clear: to forcefully punish the 'Taiwan independence' separatist forces for their acts of 'independence' and to issue a serious warning to the external interventionist forces.

According to WeChat public number "eastern war zone" 23 news, ship formation multi-directional approach to the island of Taiwan war patrol drill posture map released.

This exercise, however, has five new features highlighted by Professor Canrong.

The first is that the exercise was somewhat sudden. In 2022 when Pelosi visited Taiwan, the PLA's island closure exercise was announced in advance. For this exercise, however, the eastern theater of war had already acted when it was announced.

The second is that this exercise is very practical and targeted. This exercise focused on topics such as joint air and sea combat readiness patrols, joint seizure of complete control of the battlefield, and joint attack on key targets.

Some military experts have also analyzed that:

  • during the exercise in northern Taiwan, the eastern theater focused on deterring important political and military targets in Taipei;

  • in the southern part of Taiwan Island, the Eastern Theater Command instead strangled Kaohsiung Port, politically and economically attacking the "Taiwan Independence" base camp, blockading Taiwan Island, affecting Taiwan's foreign trade and, militarily, by trapping the Taiwan Navy in the port, Chinese military experts have highlighted;

  • in the eastern part of the island of Taiwan, the Eastern Theater Command eventually conducted exercises to block the lifeline of Taiwan's energy imports, lines of escape for the island's independence activists, and lines of support from part of the United States and its allies.

The third novelty is that this type of exercise will be normalized in the future, adds the professor Canrong. “This exercise is called “Joint Sword-2024A”. “A” is the first letter. This means that the trapped island exercises are a series and may become normalized in the future.”

Fourth, the degree of coordination between the police and military has been improved, further compressing Taiwan's space. "This time, the Fujian Coast Guard also organized a fleet of ships to conduct law enforcement exercises in the waters near Wuqiu Island and Dongyin Island. This shows that if the situation worsens further, the guard coastal region could 'reproduce' the 'Kinmen model'. Our general idea is to compress Taiwan's space, let it calm down a little, and then gradually increase the pressure."

Fujian Marine Police carried out a comprehensive law enforcement exercise in the waters around Wuqiu Island and Dongyin Island. Fujian Marine Police formation 14606 is only 2.8 kilometers away from Dawuqiu Island at its closest point. (Source: China Marine Police)

Fifth, this exercise only sent one theater, Eastern Theater Command. "This tells us that to address the elements of “Taiwan independence,” a war zone may be sufficient. I think we are now very confident militarily in the fight against the Taiwan independence forces."

If the "Taiwan independence" forces provoke us, we will compress some space. If they persist, the consequences will fall entirely on them, Canrong warned.

"Achieving national reunification is a commitment made by the Party Central Committee to people across the country. Unity is certain. We have long pursued peaceful reunification with utmost patience, sincerity and commitment. However, it can be seen from Lai Qingde's 'May 20' speech that the 'Taiwan independence' elements will face risks, as will the international intervention forces with the United States at the center. Then we will have no choice but to react forcefully."

"The current military exercise on Trapped Island is just one step to partially demonstrate our strength and determination. If Lai Ching-tak's authorities remain obstinate, the two sides of the Taiwan Strait could come into conflict. Once we get to this point, we should be very confident that we can solve this problem."

"As regards the future of cross-Strait relations, personally I am not very optimistic", concluded Canrong.

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