August 15, 2022

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China practices a possible takeover of Taiwan with military exercises: “Ya están en nuestra puerta”

Chinese military helicopters en la costa de la province de Fujian, al otro lado del estrecho de Taiwan, el jueves (Héctor Retamal/AFP-Getty Images)

At least 11 Chinese missiles hit the northern, southern and eastern seas of Taiwan on Thursday, less than 24 hours after the president of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, celebrated the island as a bastion of democracy. autocrática China. El Ejército Popular de Liberation declared que sus misiles “alcanzaron todos sus objetivos con precisión”, aunque cinco cayeron en aguas japonesas.

Los militares chinos qualified the maneuvers as the prelude to a major demonstration of force destined to punish the island by a visit from Pelosi who questioned Beijing’s claims on Taiwan. Los ejercicios, que se acercan cada vez más a Taiwan y se espera que duren 72 horas, también darán a las fuerzas china una valiosa practica de caso de que algún día se les les les derear y attackar la isla.

But the tensions could increase dangerously, especially if something goes wrong.

El máximo conductor chino, Xi Jinpingha dicho que espera acabar unificando Taiwan y China mediante pasos pacíficos. But, al igual que sus predecessors, no ha descartado el uso de la fuerzay el refuerzo militar de China ha llegado a un punto en el que algunos comandantes y annalistas piensan que una invasion es un scenario increasingly more plausible, aunque todava muy ariesgado.

Aunque sea poco probable, está dejando a la región en vilo.

El jueves, el gobierno japonés dijo que cinco balísticos chinos habían caído en su zona económica exclusiva, la primera vez que algún misile aterrizaba en esas aguas. La zone se encuentra fuera de las aguas territoriales del país, por donde los internationales barcos pueden transitar con libertad.

Another missile, said the government, landed about 80 kilometers northwest of Yonaguni, a small island in the extreme south of Japan and a short distance from Taiwan; The missile did not fall in Japan’s economic zone.

The Japanese government presented a diplomatic protest before the Chinese government. “Se trata de un asunto grave que afecta nuestra seguridad nacional ya la seguridad de la población”, declared el ministro de Defensa japonés, Nobuo Kishi.

On Wednesday, before the missile incident, a spokeswoman for China’s Foreign Affairs Ministry, Hua Chunying, told journalists that Beijing did not recognize Japan’s zone.

In Beijing, the state television showed on Wednesday images of what is said to be a Chinese fighter jet near Taiwan (Thomas Peter/Reuters)
In Beijing, the state television showed on Wednesday images of what is said to be a Chinese fighter jet near Taiwan (Thomas Peter/Reuters)

Given that China and Japan have not demarcated a limit in relevant waters, China does not accept the notion of a ‘zona económica exclusiva japonesa’”, dijo Hua en respuesta a una pregunta sobre si el ejercicio military de China afectaría esas aguas.

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The six zones for China’s exercises were chosen for their importance in a potential campaign to cordon off Taiwan and repel foreign intervention, said Major General Meng Xiangqing, professor of strategy at the National Defense University in Beijing, in an interview in the Television China.

Una zona covers the narrowest part of the Strait of Taiwan. Others could be employed to block an important port or attack three of the main military bases in Taiwan. One of them, oriented to the south of Taiwan, “creates the conditions to close the door and hit the dog”, he said, employed a Chinese saying that refers to blocking the escape route of an enemy.

“Todos pueden esperar y ver”, dijo el general Meng. “It’s the first time that the military will realize a joint military operation around the island of Taiwan,” he said. “Hay que decir que, aunque se trata un ejercicio que asemeja a un combate real, en cualquier momento puede convertivo en un combate real”.

“Aprovecha el impulso para rodear”, rezaba un slogan usado por el Diario del Pueblothe principal periodical of the Chinese Communist Party, announced the beginning of the simulacrums.

The diffusion of belligerent propaganda from China, and the consequent increase in nationalist sentiment, may present a good moment for a new offensive for Xi, the leader of the Communist Party. His path to a third mandate as leader in a party congress at the end of this year has been hampered by a wavering economic growth, largely caused by the outbreak of COVID and Xi’s fiercely strict response to them.

Xi tiene más que questiones de propaganda en juego. In the last eight years, the People’s Liberation Army has improved, accelerating its transition to a series of advanced forces capable of projecting Chinese power, including on Taiwan.. Los ejercicios podería darle a sus comandantes una valiosa experiencia en operaciones conjuntas de fuerzas aéréas, navales y de missiles alrededor de la isla.

“Definitivamente van a usar esto como una excusa para hacer algo que ayude los prepararse para una posible invasion”, said Oriana Skylar Mastro, quien forma parte del Instituto Freeman Spogli de Estudios Internacionales de la Universidad de Stanford que estiudia el ejercito de China y Su potencial para attackar Taiwan.

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“No se trata solo de los mensajes”, he said. “Con el pretexto de la señalización, básicamente están tratado de probar su capacidad para realizar complejas maneuvers que son necesario para un asalto amphibio a Taiwan”.

No está claro hasta qué punto las fuerzas china will approach Taiwan during the maneuvers, que están previstas que finalicen el domingo.

En una posible signal de lo que cabe esperar, el Mando del Teatro Oriental de China, que abarca Taiwan, dijo que estaba mobilizando más de aviones combates, bombardieros y otras aeronaves, así como de más de destructores y frigatas, para “llevar a cabo operaciones conjuntas de cierre y control”.

Boats from the Taiwanese marina docked on Thursday in the port of Keelung, close to one of the zones where China planned to carry out its military exercises (Sam Yeh/AFP-Getty Images)
Boats from the Taiwanese marina docked on Thursday in the port of Keelung, close to one of the zones where China planned to carry out its military exercises (Sam Yeh/AFP-Getty Images)

Dos tens of Chinese military planes briefly crossed the media in the Strait of Taiwan, un límite informal que los aviones chinos han cruzado pocas veces, dijo el Ministerio de Defensa de Taiwan.

The Chinese army could also test Taiwan’s responses by shooting in territorial waters directly in front of its coast. Tres de las zonas de ejercicio tienen esquinas que sobresalen en esas aguas.

“Esto indica que, given that Taiwan is part of China, no tiene una zona de 12 miles náuticas”, said William Overholt, researcher of the Harvard Kennedy School, referring to the maritime perímetro por el que Taiwan defines its territorial waters. “Taiwan tiene que defend su zona como un país independiente o ceder”.

China is trying to reinforce its influence on Taiwan to increase dissuasion after the visit of Pelosi, who praised the people of the island for being strong in front of Beijing, said several Chinese analysts.

“The tendency of external forces to exploit Taiwan to contain China has become increasingly clear”, said Wu Yongping, a professor at the University of Tsinghua in Beijing who studies Taiwan, in responses written to our questions. “El gobierno chino has adopted algunas operaciones militares sin precedentes en respuesta a esto”.

One of the designated exercise zones is located in front of the eastern coast of Taiwan, at the furthest point from mainland China. When China carried out threatening military exercises against Taiwan during a crisis 25 years ago, the Ejército Popular de Liberation (EPL) no fue tan lejos.

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It is a message intended to highlight the greater capacity of the EPL to project power beyond continental China, and it is a visible signal that China can surround the island.”, said Brian Hart, member of the China Power Project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. “También complicará el tráfico hacia y alredero de la isla desde todos los lados”.

The island of Kinmen, which is controlled by Taiwan and is a little more than nine kilometers from the coast of China, reported that on Wednesday evening, flying objects of unclear origin, probably drones, were soared.

“No me preocupa la war, pero sí los accidents”, said Cheng Yu-han, de 31 años, ingeniero en computación in Taipei, the capital of Taiwan. Estaba un poco nervios cuando escuchó el sonido de los aviones que surcaban el cielo de Taipei esta mañana. “Espero que los Taiwanese puedan superar esta crisis con seguridad”, he said.

After decades of tensions and various military crises with China, many in Taiwan have become accustomed to threats. But although this time China does not take the most incendiary measures, the experts and officials of the island fear that the operations may trigger an incident—a collision in the sea or in the air, or a misfired missile—that inflames the tensions until converting them. en una crisis total.

Los funcionadores de la Casa Blanca y del Pentágono han estado observando la situación de cerca sin explanar cómo poderías responden. A surveillance service directed by the Instituto Naval de Estados Unidos informed on Monday that an attack group directed by the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan was in the Philippine Sea, a certain distance east of Taiwan, and that the USS Tripoli, a ship de asalto anfibio, también estaba en esa zona. El jueves no hubo anuncios sobre buques navales estadounidenses cerca de los ejercicios chinos.

“Before, the Chinese communists realized military exercises at a distance, now they have become closer,” Chang Yan-ting, a retired subcomandante of the Taiwan Air Force, said in an interview. “Ya están en nuestra puerta”.

© The New York Times 2022