Taiwan’s military yesterday said it has detected the Chinese military initiating a round of exercises at a bay area in coastal Fujian Province, which faces Taiwan, since early yesterday morning and it has been closely monitoring the drills.
The exercises being conducted at Fujian’s Dacheng Bay featured an undisclosed number of People’s Liberation Army’s (PLA) warplanes, warships and ground troops, the Ministry of National Defense said in a press statement.
The ministry did not disclose what kind of military exercises are being conducted there and for how long they would be happening, but it did say that it has been closely watching the drills with its joint intelligence system.
The ministry also released two photographs showing its air force personnel operating its Lockheed P-3C Orion submarine-hunting aircraft as part of the joint intelligence system.
Its latest statement came three days after it first made public that it had been monitoring PLA activities and troop movements in Dacheng Bay on Thursday night.
The ministry’s daily report on PLA activities near Taiwan previously only focused on Chinese warplane and warship incursions into the nation’s air defense identification zone and across the Taiwan Strait median line.
Taiwan’s Minister of National Defense Chiu Kuo-cheng (邱國正) said on Friday that it was making the information public after detecting “abnormity” concerning recent Chinese military movements around Taiwan, but did not elaborate any further.
Su Tzu-yun (蘇紫雲), an academic from the Institute for National Defense and Security Research, previously said that the ministry’s Thursday night announcement was likely meant as a form of “intelligence deterrence,” a concept proposed by the US military to show the PLA that Taiwan “knows every move you make.”
Meanwhile, Chieh Chung (揭仲), an associate research fellow at the National Policy Foundation in Taipei, said that previous PLA drills at Fujian’s Dacheng Bay mostly focused on practicing military unloading exercises by using civilian semi-submersible vessels to move military vehicles and troops to designated locations.
Such a drill is meant to test the PLA’s capability in using civilian vessels to support joint island landing operations should Taiwan decide to intentionally damage its major ports and docks to prevent a Chinese invasion by sea, Chieh said.
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