Did China’s military exercises near Taiwan reveal critical information about its missiles?

New Delhi, Aug 17: On Tuesday, a much-riled China announced more military drills around Taiwan in response to the five-member bipartisan US delegation’s visit to Taipei. Unlike previously, it did not announce when drills would be held.

China also announced sanctions against seven Taiwanese politicians and officials for being die-hard nationalists and for pushing a pro-independence agenda for Taiwan. One of the sanctioned individuals includes Taipei’s representative to Washington.

China’s Taiwan Affairs Office spokesman said: “… a small number of Taiwan independence die-hards have tried their best to collude with external forces to carry out ‘independence’ provocations, deliberately inciting cross-strait confrontation, and wantonly undermining the peace and stability of the Taiwan Strait. They performed extremely poorly during Pelosi’s trip to Taiwan”.

Announced on Tuesday, the new sanctions follow previously imposed sanctions on US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi as well as Lithuanian Deputy Minister of Transport and Communications, Agne Vaiciukeviciute, who had visited the island nation last week.

By sending another delegation to Taiwan on the heels of Nancy Pelosi’s much-publicised visit on August 2, the US has sent a signal that it stoutly ignores China’s threats and protestations. The US Congressional delegation led by Democratic Senator Ed Markey also met Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen.

India Narrative spoke with Khedroob Thondup–Taiwan-based Tibetan writer and the Dalai Lama’s nephew, about the morale of Taiwanese citizens and the mood on the streets in Taipei.

Thondup said that the Taiwanese are now laughing at Chinese behaviour “because we think all these exercises are in vain. After the first set of exercises that China did the Taiwanese people are now feeling worn out”.

“I think we got a lot of secret information on how the Chinese will attack, how they will fire their missiles. The US and the Japanese sent their experts to monitor China’s firing of missiles. Our military is keeping calm as they study the flight of the Chinese missiles”, Thondup said.

He added that “the US is sending its warships to Taiwan as was announced by the US Navy. The US is not going to back down just because China is threatening us. Congressional delegations to Taiwan are not new. We have been having these delegations for very long”.

Thondup said that the Taiwanese people are resilient in the face of Chinese bullying, adding that the sentiments are like what was in India after the Galwan valley clash.

He added that Taiwan is now holding its own drills. “Sirens blasted and people were told to take shelter, a few days back”.

Taiwan has not cowed down in the face of China’s live firing of missiles and artillery shells. The people on the island now define themselves clearly as Taiwanese and not Chinese, making it clear that they do not support the unification with China, which President Xi Jinping desires.

(The content is being carried under an arrangement with indianarrative.com)





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