China Vows to ‘Crush’ Taiwanese Independence Efforts

( – China has vowed to reclaim the independently governed island of Taiwan for decades. In May of this year, China’s Defence Chief Dong Jun issued a warning to the government of Taiwan that the Chinese military is ready to engage in war.

Taiwan split from mainland China in 1949 during a civil war and has been an independent nation since. The island is a democracy with its own constitution and elected leaders and sees itself as distinct and independent of China.

The Chinese military has performed drills around the island for years, but the mock invasions have intensified since William Lai was elected as president of Taiwan in January. Lai, who has been labeled a “troublemaker” for speaking out against China’s threats to invade Taiwan, was inaugurated on May 20th. Only three days after his inauguration Beijing launched a mock full-scale WW3-style invasion of Taiwan.

Beijing called the drill “strong punishment for separatist acts” and the intimidation lasted for over 24 hours. The operation began with dozens of warplanes and then escalated by adding 27 warships and 62 warplanes blockading the island from all directions. Taiwan responded to the drills by mobilizing military forces, scrambling jets, and placing missile units on high alert.

The recent drills have included areas of the island east of the mountain range where much of Taiwan’s military infrastructure is along the coast. China chose to target this area to show Taiwan the island is vulnerable to the east and to warn the U.S. that attempting to send aid to Taiwan would expose delivery vessels to the Chinese military.

Chinese President Xi Jinping has vowed to take Taiwan by force if necessary and that he would “never back down” on the Chinese claim to the island. During his New Year’s address, Xi said Taiwan’s reunification with the “motherland” is inevitable.

Shortly after being sworn in, Lai said Taiwan would never back down to China’s intimidation. He urged Beijing to “replace confrontation with dialogue.” Wang Wenbin, China’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson said Taiwan’s push for independence is “destined to fail.”

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