TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – China's Shanghai Maritime Safety Administration issued a notice on August 10, announcing that the Chinese navy will perform a major military exercise in the Yellow Sea during August 10-13, as Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) begins an overseas trip.
Tsai will travel to Belize and Paraguay from August 12 to 20, where she will most notably attend the inauguration ceremony of Paraguay President-elect Mario Abdo Benítez, neatly coinciding with China's abruptly announced military show of force.
China has a track record of initiating military drills as Tsai prepares to go abroad. In April 2018, President Tsai visited eSwatini and in a move that many reports suggested was in response to Taiwan acting on the international stage, China launched live-fire drills in the Taiwan Strait.
The military exercise is planned in the waster east of Qingdao and will begin at 6.00 p.m. this evening. Vessels and the public are advised to keep clear of the exclusion zone.
Navy exercise exclusion zone. (Google Maps)
The exercise area is greater than 13,000 square kilometers and is located southeast of Qingdao in Shandong Province, in China's east.
Qingdao is a major naval and commercial port, and home to the Chinese navy's North Sea Fleet.
Precise details of the military exercise are currently unknown.