China has announced more military drills in the seas and airspace around Taiwan, a day after the scheduled end of exercises launched in protest against U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's visit. On Aug. 9, Taiwan's Army started live-fire artillery drills at the Manfeng training grounds in Pingtung's Checheng Township. The military said these drills are held annually.
The command is given, and the soldiers fire 155mm self-propelled howitzers that end up accurately hitting the maritime targets. The Army started live-fire artillery drills on Aug. 9 at the Manfeng training grounds in Pingtung's Checheng Township. People wondered if the range of the exercises overlapped with China's ongoing military exercises, and tried to draw associations between the two sets of exercises. The military clarified that there is no relation, and these drills were already scheduled and take place on an annual basis.
Lou Woei-jye, Spokesperson, 8th Army Corps: “The fact that the artillery drills proceeded so smoothly despite the extremely poor weather shows that our regular equipment maintenance is excellent. We are proceeding based on our original plans for conducting the drills. We won't change our training objectives just because the enemy has some maneuvers. Our drills always proceed one step at a time. We need to accumulate military capability bit by bit.”
China has fired several types of anti-aircraft weapons recently. It also announced live-fire drills for three days starting on Aug. 9 in the South China Sea and waters to the east of the three islands off of Zhanjiang. China has recently announced exercises in the Bohai Sea, Yellow Sea, East China Sea, and South China Sea. Experts say the large-scale exercises viewed as a blockade of Taiwan are meant not only to compress Taiwan's strategic depth to a minimum, but also to ignore the median line and intrude into Taiwan's territorial waters, sending the message that China doesn't recognize Taiwan's sovereignty.
Chi Le-yi, Member, Quadrennial Defense Review Consulting Team: “Our side will be in a strategic interior line situation. It will be harder for outsiders to intervene. If the U.S. really feels that Taiwan is important and can't be relinquished, then it should help to defend Taiwan. That means the U.S. needs to make some strategic preparations in advance right now.”
Experts warn that Taiwan is located in the strategic interior line, which means it is strategically surrounded by the Chinese military. If hostilities erupt, the biggest problem Taiwan will face is an energy shortage. Experts advise the government to quickly make preparations.
Lin Yu-fang, Group Convener, National Policy Foundation: “We all know that our domestic natural gas reserves will only be enough for 10 to 11 days. If China wants to besiege Taiwan, it will take longer than 10 to 11 days, possibly a month, two months, or three months.”
Joseph Wen, a university student who previously created a map detailing all of China's military bases and installations, said a Cheng Kung-class frigate had faced off against a Chinese warship. The military said the two sides were separated by at least 180 meters, and the frigate's mission was to prevent Chinese warships from crossing the strait's median line. It also said preparations had been made for impact.