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China extends navy drills round Taiwan and intensifies propaganda push

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China has prolonged navy drills round Taiwan, stoking fears of a drawn-out interval of heightened stress that’s piling strain on the US to reply.

Beijing’s largest-ever military exercises round Taiwan had been anticipated to wind down after navigation warnings for seven areas across the nation expired early on Monday.

However the Folks’s Liberation Military Japanese Theatre Command stated it was “persevering with joint coaching underneath actual warfare circumstances, targeted on organising joint anti-submarine warfare and naval strikes”.

The assertion appeared to point that whereas the live-fire drills had concluded, the Chinese military was sustaining a strain marketing campaign that has introduced its fight plane and warships nearer than ever to Taiwanese territory.

Final week, Tsai Ing-wen, Taiwan’s president, appealed to the worldwide neighborhood for assist.

The US authorities has repeatedly condemned China’s aggression. The G7 group of business nations has pleaded with Beijing to de-escalate the scenario. However Washington, which has lengthy acted as Taiwan’s unofficial protector, has not revealed whether or not it will use navy drive to discourage China.

Map of Taiwan showing China’s military live fire exercises in March 1996 and August 2022

Duan Dang, a regional safety analyst in Vietnam, wrote on Twitter: “If the US doesn’t do one thing militarily to push again China in Taiwan Strait and re-establish a reputable pink line, it is going to be very unhealthy! Frankly, nobody within the area goes to imagine in US commitments anymore.”

Other than navy workouts, Beijing has additionally stepped up a propaganda offensive geared toward eroding the island nation’s confidence in its safety whereas satisfying nationalist sentiment on the mainland.

After Chinese language on-line map companies started displaying Taiwan in better element final week, state media and diplomats started publishing posts and articles highlighting indicators of Chinese language tradition in Taiwanese cities, which they stated bolstered Beijing’s declare of sovereignty.

A video posted on the Weibo account of state broadcaster CCTV confirmed road indicators in Taipei carrying the names of Chinese language cities and provinces reminiscent of Tianjin, Shandong, Guiyang and Chongqing.

It was accompanied by a sentimental track with the lyrics: “A cloud from the homeland drifts on the fringe of the sky and retains calling out to me. As a slight breeze rises subsequent to me, a voice retains calling out: ‘Return, return!’”

“Each street leads dwelling!” a caption underneath the video learn. “Right here, each road is full of the craving for dwelling!”

The propaganda marketing campaign has performed on Taiwan’s complicated nationwide identification and historical past of Chinese language migration and consecutive waves of colonisation.

After the Chinese language Nationalist authorities fled to the island following its defeat within the civil warfare in 1949, it renamed most streets after mainland cities and conventional Chinese language virtues. This was to uphold its declare because the professional authorities of China in addition to Sinify Taiwan after 50 years of Japanese rule and centuries of solely free affiliation with the mainland.

However in line with polls that Taiwanese universities have carried out for nearly 30 years, nearly all of the nation’s inhabitants doesn’t see itself as predominantly Chinese language and doesn’t wish to turn out to be a part of China.

Hua Chunying, a Chinese language overseas ministry spokesperson, posted screenshots of maps of the Taiwanese capital on Twitter, noting that they confirmed “38 Shandong dumpling eating places and 67 Shanxi noodle eating places in Taipei”.

“Palates don’t cheat. Taiwan has all the time been part of China. The lengthy misplaced little one will ultimately return dwelling,” she wrote.

The declare that Chinese language eating places proved that Taiwan had been a part of the mainland, which was additionally unfold by different diplomats, shortly backfired, nevertheless, when Twitter customers responded by asking whether or not the presence of McDonald’s fast-food retailers in Beijing demonstrated that China was traditionally a part of the US.

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