Missiles to be fired over Taiwan for the first time: Chinese media
China’s military drills include ‘joint blockades, sea assault and land and air combat trainings, involving the use of advanced weapons including J-20 stealth fighter jets and DF-17 hypersonic missiles’.
BEIJING: Chinese missiles are expected to be fired over Taiwan for the first time with People’s Liberation Army (PLA) navy also readying to enter within 12 nautical miles of the self-ruled island, a state media report said on Wednesday, adding the ongoing military drills were “unprecedented”.
Quoting military experts, the nationalistic tabloid, Global Times said, the PLA were “completely blockading” Taiwan.
“The exercises are unprecedented as the PLA conventional missiles are expected to fly over the island of Taiwan for the first time,” the report said.
The military drills, which started on Tuesday evening, includes “joint blockades, sea assault and land and air combat trainings, involving the use of advanced weapons including J-20 stealth fighter jets and DF-17 hypersonic missiles”, the report said, adding exercises were in response to the Taiwan visit of US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
“Joint blockade, sea assault, land attack and air combat drills were at the core of the operation, as the exercises tested the troops’ joint operational capabilities,” said a statement issued by the eastern theatre command, and circulated by the Chinese defence ministry’s official websites.
The PLA has deployed some of its latest weaponry: The J-20 stealth fighter jet, H-6K bomber, J-11 fighter jet, Type 052D destroyer, Type 056A corvette and DF-11 short-range ballistic missile, according to the Global Times report.
It did not share details about which missile will be fired across Taiwan.
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Given that US warships are deployed in the maritime region around Taiwan, the unprecedented use of a missile across the island is potentially dangerous, and could lead to military escalation.
Compared to the Taiwan Straits crisis in 1996, the PLA’s military strength has been greatly enhanced, analysts told Global Times. “In 1996, we didn’t have aircraft carriers, the Type 055 large destroyer, nor hypersonic missiles... Since then our ability to strike, capture and kill has greatly improved and our military options and confidence have increased,” military expert Song Zhongping told the tabloid.