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Taiwan: China’s military exercises could help it practice an attack

Kinmen Island, an island controlled by Taiwan just over six miles off the coast of China, reported that Wednesday night, flying objects of unspecified origin – possibly drones – flew overhead. Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense said its website was paralyzed by “denial of service” cyber attacks late Wednesday night.

China is trying to bolster its influence in Taiwan by upgrading deterrence after a visit by Ms. Pelosi, who praised the island’s people for standing firm against Beijing, several Chinese analysts said.

“The tendency of external powers to exploit Taiwan to contain China has become increasingly clear.” Wu Yongping, a professor at Tsinghua University in Beijing who studies Taiwan, said written responses to questions. “The Chinese government has adopted some unprecedented military operations in response to this.”

One of the designated exercise zones of the People’s Liberation Army is located off the east coast of Taiwan, the farthest point from mainland China. When China conducted intimidating military exercises off Taiwan during a geopolitical crisis 25 years ago, the People’s Liberation Army, or PLA, didn’t go that far.

“It’s a deliberate message meant to emphasize the PLA’s increased ability to project power farther from mainland China, and it’s a visible signal that China can encircle the island,” he said. Brian Hart, China Power Project fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. “It will also complicate traffic to and around the island from all sides.”

Global Times, a surprisingly nationalistic Chinese newspaper, raised the possibility of missiles launched from the mainland in this eastern zone, arcing over Taiwan. “If Taiwan’s military responds, the PLA is fully capable of trapping the turtle in the jar,” a Chinese commentator, Zhang Xuefeng, told the newspaper, using a Chinese proverb for catching prey with ease.

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