Taiwan Conducts Drills Deploying US Patriot Systems In Face Of Chinese Intrusions

The Taiwanese armed forces on Tuesday conducted highly provocative anti-aircraft defense exercises in the face of Chinese military “intrusions” which have been occurring on a weekly basis. 

Importantly, the drills centered on deploying and operating US-made Patriot missiles and anti-aircraft artillery systems provided by Washington

Image via Asia Times

A military statement said the drills are a response to “incursions by Chinese Communist Party aircraft and ships into the sea and airspace around Taiwan” and added that “the air force will continue to increase the intensity of drills.”

“The aim was to verify the command and control of joint air defense operations among the three branches of the military,” the armed forces described.

Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen has meanwhile ramped up defense spending, and attended a ceremony Tuesday for the handover of two domestically made warships at Suao port.

“Over the past few years, we have steadily implemented defense autonomy with Taiwan-made warships being named, launched, and commissioned one after another at an increasingly rapid pace,” Tsai announced at the event.

“These achievements repeatedly demonstrate Taiwan’s capacity for domestic shipbuilding and proves our determination to safeguard our democracy and freedom,” she added.

In the United States, lawmakers are taking steps to prepare for a potential future invasion by China’s military of the self-ruled island backed by the US.

“Fears of possible conflict across the Taiwan Strait are spurring state-level legislation aimed to identify and mitigate the potential local impact of hostilities,” Politico reported last weekend.

“Since the beginning of the year, lawmakers in Arizona, Nebraska and Illinois have introduced versions of the Pacific Conflict Stress Test Act — bills that impose checklists of potential local vulnerabilities in supply chains and infrastructure security if Beijing eventually uses force to ‘reunify’ with Taiwan,” the report said.

The Chinese government, for its part, has long maintained that it desires the island to be reunited through peaceful, political means; however, at the same time frequent PLA military drills have projected the threat of force in regional waters.

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