By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent Worthy News
BEIJING/TAIPEI (Worthy News) – Fears grew Sunday about a possible military confrontation between China and Taiwan as tens of warships from both sides were involved in a stand-off near the Taiwan Strait’s sensitive median line, several sources confirmed.
The 20 vessels, half Chinese and half Taiwanese approached each other after Beijing said its military carried out simulated precision strikes against Taiwan.
Chinese authorities claimed the strikes targeted “key targets” on the democratically-ruled island “and the surrounding sea areas” during a second day of drills.
The Chinese military released a video showing missiles exploding after simulating hitting targets in Taiwan.
Taiwan reported multiple air force sorties by Beijing. China’s ongoing military exercises were due to further raise tensions with the United States, where President Joe Biden has pledged that America will defend Taiwan.
China, which claims Taiwan as its territory, is carrying out three days of exercises dubbed Operation “Joint Sword” around the island.
On Saturday, dozens of Chinese military aircraft crossed the median line that serves as an unofficial barrier between the two sides, several security sources said.
On Saturday, defense officials in Taipei accused Beijing of using Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen’s visit to the U.S. as an “excuse to conduct military exercises.”
Taiwan added that China’s perceived war-mongering “has seriously undermined peace, stability, and security in the region.”
China also retaliated with drills after former U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited Taiwan last year. Taiwan called China’s actions “military intimidation.”
However, with China rapidly modernizing its army, there are concerns that Beijing may try to invade Taiwan soon. With tensions rising, the U.S. has increased its military presence in the Indo-Pacific region, holding large joint military drills with South Korea and the Philippines.
Republican Congressman Mike Gallagher, who chairs the U.S. House Select Committee on China, said the United States should take China’s threat to Taiwan seriously.
“We need to be moving heaven and earth to enhance our deterrence and denial posture so that [Chinese President] Xi Jinping concludes that he just can’t do it [attacking Taiwan], Gallagher stressed.
However French President Emmanuel Macron said Sunday that Europe had no interest in an acceleration of the crisis over Taiwan and should pursue a strategy independent of both Washington and Beijing. “The worst thing would be to think that we Europeans must become followers on this topic and adapt to the American rhythm or a Chinese overreaction,” he reportedly said.
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