TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- China is preparing to hold a new round of military exercises near Taiwan this week, the third set of war games within a month.
As cross-strait tensions continue to rise after Trump has signed off on the sale of 66 F-16V fighter jets to Taiwan worth US$8 billion, China's state-owned mouthpiece, the Global Times, on Tuesday (Aug. 27) announced that a "live fire drill" will be held close to the Taiwan Strait this week. The move is seen by many as Beijing's way of expressing its disapproval of the deal and implying dire consequences for Taiwan as a result.
During a brief announcement on Monday (Aug. 26), the Zhejiang Maritime Safety Administration stated that all ships will be banned from entering the waters off the coast of China's Zhejiang Province for 48 hours starting at 6 p.m. on Tuesday (Aug. 27). The bureau did not disclose the scale of the exercise nor list which military units would be involved.
The People's Liberation Army (PLA) held two large-scale military exercises near the Taiwan Strait in late July.
When Tsai took office in 2016, she refused to recognize the "1992 Consensus," and only acknowledged that the 1992 Taiwan-China talks were a "historical fact." In response, China has been seeking to punish Taiwan by excluding it from international organizations, stealing away diplomatic allies, intimidating government bodies and corporations to de-list Taiwan as a country, and ramping up military drills around the island.