- Tzeng Yi-suo, a study fellow at the Institute for National Defense and Security study in Taipei, said, "I hope this won't become the norm."
- Analysts said that the fact that Chinese ships and planes were still there after the drill was over could mean that there will be more military shows every day.
The island’s defense ministry said that Chinese warships and planes were still working around Taiwan on Tuesday, even though Beijing had said that its huge war games were over the day before.
China started three days of military drills around self-ruled Taiwan on Saturday. The exercises included a mock blockade of the island and simulated strikes on specific targets.
Beijing claims that the island is part of its territory, so the show of force was a reaction to Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen’s meeting with US House Speaker Kevin McCarthy last week. Beijing had warned that the meeting would lead to retaliatory measures.
As of 11:00 am (0300 GMT) on Tuesday, Taiwan’s defense minister said it had seen nine Chinese warships and 26 planes around the island.
The ministry said that China “organized military aircraft this morning and crossed the median line from the north, the center, and the south.” The median line is an unofficial border that runs down the middle of the Taiwan Strait, but it was once mostly followed.
On Monday, the last day of the drills, the ministry said it had seen 12 Chinese warships and 91 aircraft around the island, with 54 planes moving into Taiwan’s southwestern and southeastern air defense identification zones. (ADIZ).
The number of ADIZ breaches was the most in one day since October 2021.
The zone is not the same as Taiwan’s airspace, and it covers a much larger area that crosses with China’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ) and even some of the mainland.
During the drills, J15 fighter jets were stationed off China’s Shandong aircraft carrier and were among the planes that crossed the median line, according to the defense ministry.
Beijing sent out about the same number of boats and jets on Saturday and Sunday.
“The Shandong carrier battle group that was in the Philippine Sea took part in the drill, and the total of 232 air sorties in three days is unheard of,” Alexander Huang, a military expert at Tamkang University in Taipei, told AFP.
Monday, a few hours after the official end of the military drills, Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen spoke out against them. She said that China was using Taiwan’s relationship with the U.S. as a “excuse to launch military exercises, causing instability in Taiwan and the region.”
“Even though China’s military exercise is over, our military and national security team will stay put and keep protecting the country,” Tsai said.
When asked about the military deployment on Tuesday, China repeated its claim over Taiwan.
Wang Wenbin, a spokesman for the foreign ministry, said at a regular press conference, “China will take strong steps to protect national sovereignty and territorial integrity.”
“Taiwan is a part of China that can’t be separated. There is no defense ministry for Taiwan.
The Chinese military said that after the three-day “Joint Sword” drills, it had “successfully completed” all of the tasks that were part of the drills.
Beijing “sealed off” the island during the war games, and state media said that dozens of planes practiced a “aerial blockade.”
The US had asked China to be calm many times, so on Monday it sent the guided-missile cruiser USS Milius through disputed parts of the South China Sea.
In a statement, the US Navy said, “This freedom of navigation operation protected the rights, freedoms, and legal uses of the sea.”
China was angry about the move and said the ship had “illegally entered” its borders.
Separately, Beijing said that Taiwanese independence and peace across the Taiwan Strait were “incompatible” and blamed the tensions on Taipei and “foreign forces” that helped it.
After the drills, the White House said that things were not going well with China.
Analysts said that the fact that Chinese ships and planes were still there after the drill was over could mean that there will be more military shows every day.
Tzeng Yi-suo, a study fellow at the Institute for National Defense and Security study in Taipei, said, “I hope this won’t become the norm.”
“Taiwan’s military has been working hard to fight back against… harassment and attrition.”