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'New normal' in Taiwan Strait as China threat looms

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(CNN)China trying to establish The Taiwan Strait is eroding Taiwan's territorial control and increasing the threat of attack with every military sortie, officials and analysts say.

Beijing has stepped up military operations in the 110 miles (180 km) wide sea that separatesTaiwanfrom mainland China. After U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited the island earlier this month.

Analysts say Chinese planes and ships will be present near the island, and Beijing could use its military response to her visit to change the status quo, Pelosi and others say. say it may represent a realization of concerns expressed by US officials in the United States. More general and less challenging.

"Beijing is trying to create a kind of new normal for the purpose of coercing Taiwan," Colin Carr, the US Undersecretary of Defense for Policy, said on August 8. rice field.

And Taiwan's Ministry of Defense statistics suggest that the People's Liberation Army (PLA) may be heading in that direction.

Movements of "destabilization"

Within minutes of Pelosi's landing on Taiwan on 2 August, the PLA It announced four days of military exercises in six zones surrounding the island. It included navigating the Strait and breaking through the center line (the midpoint between the mainland and Taiwan) of dozens of PLA fighters. Beijing is unaware of it, but says it largely respects it.

Since these exercises officially ended, PLA fighters have continued to cross the center line every day, usually in her double-digit numbers, according to Taiwan Defense Ministry statistics. The end of her four-day training, starting Aug. 8, announced the night Pelosi landed on Taiwan, and from 10 to 21 of her PLA aircraft crossed the center line each day until Aug. 16. .

In his July, the month before Mr Pelosi's visit, he was the only time Chinese fighters crossed the center line with several jets, according to Taiwan's Ministry of Defense. .

Chinese and foreign analysts say PLA cross-strait sorties are unlikely to go away anytime soon, effectively causing some to lessen the vigilance of Taiwan and its supporters. say it's possible. America.

Daniel Krittenbrink, the US Assistant Secretary of State for East Asia and the Pacific, said Thursday that the PLA's actions since Mr. Pelosi's visit to the island have been "provocative, erratic and unprecedented." ' he called.

He noted the PLA's "ignorance" of the median line, stating that "the historical There are a number of military crossings," he said.

In its report on Taiwan, updated 12 August, the China Power Project of the US-based Center for Strategic and International Studies stated that the Chinese government "has been criticized by the People's Liberation Army for We are trying to establish a new normal that we no longer respect." Separate airspace and territorial waters.

Prelude to attack.

China's ruling party, the Chinese Communist Party, has never ruled Taiwan, a democratically governed island of 24 million people, even though it is part of its territory. regarded as a department. It has long promised to “reunify” mainland China and the islands.

Chinese analysts say the daily median flights are preparing the Chinese People's Liberation Army for a rapid strike on Taiwan if it so desires.

"Military exercises that simulate actual combat have become the new normal. China can now decide whether to seamlessly turn future exercises into actual combat," he said. Chen Feng, a freelance columnist for Chinese nationalist website guancha, writes: cn.

The China Power Project report, as outlined in The Science of Military Strategy, clears up the ambiguity of whether something is a drill or the launch of an attack is intentional. pointed out and made similar claims. National Defense University of China.

This textbook, which focuses on PLA strategy, "makes them uncertain about our intentions, maintains close diplomatic relations, and asks whether we conduct regular training. or take the opportunity to transition to actual combat operations," the China Power Project report quotes a textbook.

Meanwhile, China's recent military The restraint shown by leaders in Taipei and Washington in their military response to the exercises could make the PLA more bold, analysts say.

"Beijing will no longer exercise restraint in maintaining its own operations centered west of the centerline of the Taiwan Strait, and will likely engage in operations closer to Taiwan." Power Projects directors Bonnie Lynn and Joel Usnau write. Senior Fellow at the US National Defense University's Center for the Study of China Military Affairs, in his journal War on the Rocks online this week.

The United States is legally obligated to provide defensive weapons to Taiwan through the Taiwan Relations Act, but is it willing to defend Taiwan in the event of an attempted attack by China? It is deliberately left ambiguous as to whether. says it does.

The U.S. military will use one of its usual tactics and practice freedom of navigation, Kurt Campbell, President Joe Biden's Indo-Pacific coordinator, said in his Aug. He told reporters at the White House on Thursday.

{91 Mr Campbell said, "We will continue to fly, navigate and operate within the limits of international law, consistent with our longstanding commitment to freedom of navigation, and in the coming weeks we will have standard air and maritime We will carry out transportation," he said. at a press conference.

China's ambassador to Washington, Qin Gang, said on Tuesday that US transit would only heighten tensions.

"I call on my American colleagues to exercise restraint and not do anything to escalate tensions," Qin told reporters in Washington.

Comparisons in the South China Sea

US Navy Based in Japan Vice Admiral Carl Thomas, commander of the 7th Fleet, said on Tuesday that Washington could not let things go,likening the current situation to what happened in the South China Sea

China claims almost all of the South China Sea as its territory, and a United Nations court has ruled that it has no right to militarize the islands.

``Then the world will wake up and people may say something, but if they are not careful, it could take years. Afterwards, they should be able to recognize that things will change a lot.” Singapore.

While Beijing's position in the South China Sea is entrenched for now, Thomas said the US must challenge it over Taiwan.

"We know the gorillas in the room are firing missiles over Taiwan," said Thomas.

"If you allow it to happen and don't challenge it, it will become the next standard. It is unacceptable."