Chinese PLA’s Military Operation Threatens Taiwan

TAIPEH – The Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) yesterday launched a large-scale two-day military operation around the island of Taiwan. The operation, code-named “Joint Sword-2024A”, has escalated tensions in the region, causing concern for Taiwan and the international community.

The Military Operation

The PLA’s operation involved the army, navy, air force, and rocket force. The operation started at 7:45 am on May 23rd, 2024, in the Taiwan Strait, the north, south, and east of Taiwan, as well as areas around the islands of Kinmen, Matsu, Wuqiu, and Dongyin. The operation was described as a “strong punishment for the separatist acts of ‘Taiwan independence’ forces and a stern warning against interference and provocation by external forces”.

Taiwan’s Response

In response to the operation, Taiwan’s Ministry of Defence placed its military on “high alert” and described the drills as “irrational provocations and actions that disrupt regional peace and stability”. Taiwan’s new president, William Lai Ching-te, stated that he would continue to defend Taiwan’s values of freedom and democracy in the face of “external” challenges and threats.

International Community’s Concern

The international community, especially in the Asian region, has expressed concern over the operation. A spokesperson for Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong stated that Australia was concerned about the possible risks from China’s military operations.  The spokesperson added, “The risk of an accident, and potential escalation, is growing. Peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait is in all of our interests”.

Collin Koh, a senior fellow at the Institute of Defence and Strategic Studies in Singapore, commented that the drill was not meant to accomplish anything more than warn the just-inaugurated Lai administration that they are more than ready to react, and to deter any moves towards so-called Taiwan independence.

The Rising Threat

The large-scale military operation by the PLA around Taiwan has raised concerns about the island’s security and the stability of the region. The international community is closely watching the situation, hoping for a peaceful resolution to the escalating tensions. (zai)