Author： Randy Young
Editor: Dylan King
(Reading Time: 3 mins)
Communist Senior Colonel Zhang Chunhui is the spokesperson for the Eastern Theater Command. On August 13, he announced upcoming combined arms exercises in the Taiwan Strait.
SINA Military reprinted the announcement from the Command’s official Weibo account. Shortly, two thousand Chinese accounts participated in the news discussion. The majority condemned the American imperialism and Taiwanese separatism. At the same time, all major overseas media under party controls remained silent on Zhang.
（Source: PLA News)
According to SINA Military, selected major powers meddled with China’s internal affairs. They were sending the wrong message to enable Taiwanese “separatists.” It was detrimental to the peace and stability of the region. The training and patrolling activities were necessary for the current security situation. Zhang called it the preservation of national sovereignty (Lu).
Meanwhile, U.S. health chief Azar visited Taiwan. Former Japanese Premier Mori also visited Taiwan (Reynolds). Moreover, the Prague mayor would soon join the Czech Senate president on a visit to Taiwan (Chen). The planned communist exercises poised to intimidate other incoming foreign dignitaries. It showcased the Communist military’s determination to enforce its 2005 Anti-secession Law. As a result, it further escalated the urgent need for the world to defend Taiwan.
The Eastern Theater Command oversaw half of the country’s naval force. This theatre controlled one-third of the entire air force and twenty-five percent of the whole army. Overall, the communist leadership attached its most advanced equipment to this Command. It included eight guided-missile destroyers, 21 corvette vessels, 20 conventional submarines, and 900 planes (People’s Liberation Army Eastern Command).
On the other side, the Taiwanese Air Force owned 286 fighter jets and 91 attack helicopters. Its navy had four destroyers, one frigate, four submarines, and 24 light frigates.
Comparing the force size, the Communist Regional Command outgunned its counterpart. But, Taiwan had reinstated its importance in the American Indo-Pacific strategy. Two U.S. carrier strike groups remained in the region along with various friendly navies.
Taiwan also bolstered its defense in the face of creeping Communist domination. It was in talks to make its first buy of sophisticated U.S. drones (Stone). Yet, Senate Bill 4474 might outlaw this sale. This proposal aimed to “amend the Arms Export Control Act to prohibit the export, transfer, or trade of many advanced drones except to NATO members, Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, Japan, and Israel (Murphy, etc.).” The communists’ provocations could be the cornerstone of the formalization of the Taiwan Defense Act. Nonetheless, it was likely for the U.S. to reconsider Taiwan as a “close ally” after benching it for over 41 years.
Under such context, the “Fourth Taiwan Strait Crisis” could be an expensive propaganda show. The Communist Party would exert its domestic dominance again through inciting ultra-nationalism.
Chen, Kelvin. “Prague Mayor Will Join Czech Senate President on Visit to Taiwan.” Taiwan News, Taiwan News, 12 Aug. 2020, www.taiwannews.com.tw/en/news/3985556.
Lu, Xiongfei. “东部战区多军种多方向成体系出动兵力，在台湾海峡及南北两端连续组织实战化演练.” Wechat Official Platform, PLA Eastern Command , 13 Aug. 2020, mp.weixin.qq.com/s/HBOU7t5C9ZSHhRBPahA7-w.
(TCEHY is an OTCMKTS traded corporation. There is an operating Communist branch like BIDU.)
“People’s Liberation Army Eastern Command.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 17 July 2020, https://zh.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E4%B8%AD%E5%9B%BD%E4%BA%BA%E6%B0%91%E8%A7%A3%E6%94%BE%E5%86%9B%E4%B8%9C%E9%83%A8%E6%88%98%E5%8C%BA
Reynolds, Isabel. “Former Japan Premier Mori Meets Taiwan’s Tsai on Mourning Trip.” Bloomberg.com, Bloomberg, 9 Aug. 2020, www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-08-09/japan-former-premier-mori-visits-taiwan-to-mourn-president-lee.
Stone, Mike. “Exclusive: Taiwan in Talks to Make First Purchase of Sophisticated U.S. Drones – Sources.” Reuters, Thomson Reuters, 7 Aug. 2020, www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-taiwan-drones-exclusive/exclusive-taiwan-in-talks-to-make-first-purchase-of-sophisticated-u-s-drones-sources-idUSKCN25221C.
United States, Congress, Cong. Senate, Foreign Relations, et al. A Bill to Amend the Arms Export Control Act to Prohibit the Export of Certain Unmanned Aircraft Systems., 116AD. 116th Congress, 2nd session, bill ROS20833 986 .
“官宣：解放军东部战区在台湾海峡及南北两端实战演习.” SINA Military, 13 Aug. 2020, mil.news.sina.com.cn/china/2020-08-13/doc-iivhvpwy0818148.shtml.
(SINA is a Nasdaq traded corporation. There is an operating Communist branch like Bytedance.)
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