Tensions Increase Post-Tsai Ing-wen’s US Visit
China has carried out naval drills around Taiwan for the second day, using naval and air forces to simulate the encirclement of the island. Beijing has dubbed the operation “Joint Sword” and has called it a “stern warning” against Taipei. Taiwan said dozens of Chinese jets flew sorties around the island on Sunday, while nine ships were also spotted. Taiwan’s defence officials have accused Beijing of using Ms Tsai’s visit to the US as an excuse to conduct military exercises, which has seriously undermined peace, stability and security in the region. Meanwhile, the US has urged China not to overreact to the meeting between Taipei and Washington, calling for “restraint and no change to the status quo”.
China’s exercises, which are due to run until Monday, utilize a range of military equipment, including “long-range rocket artillery, naval destroyers, missile boats, air force fighters, bombers, jammers and refuellers”. The drills have enraged Taiwanese officials, who have provided video footage showing one of their ships shadowing a Chinese warship.
Despite the tensions, the US remains legally bound to provide Taiwan with the means to defend itself. President Joe Biden has previously stated that the US would intervene if China attacked Taiwan, but the exact course of action remains unclear.
Despite increasing tensions around Taiwan, the US remains committed to ensuring peace and stability in the region. President Biden has reaffirmed his support for Taiwan and has emphasized that the US has sufficient resources and capabilities to meet its national security commitments. While the situation remains tense, hope remains that diplomatic channels can prevent the situation from escalating into violence.