China Edges Toward Armed Conflict With Unprecedented Military Threats Against Taiwan: Experts

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The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) launched its largest ever joint military exercises this month in retaliation to U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan, the self-ruled island the regime considers as its own. Experts are divided, however, as to whether the drills are mere bluster or present an escalation toward armed hostilities.

The drills resulted in a de facto blockade of Taiwan which interfered with international travel and shipping lanes, and saw the launch of at least 11 hypersonic missiles, some of which flew directly over Taiwan and landed in the waters of Japan’s exclusive economic zone.

The White House said that China had positioned its military to take further action in the region, but did not specify what that future action might be.

Defense and security experts disagree on the purpose of the exercises. Some consider the CCP’s hawkish behavior to be propaganda designed to garner domestic support ahead of an important political meeting later this year. Others believe the regime is preparing for an invasion of Taiwan.

CCP is ‘Trying to Look Strong’

Greg Copley, president of the International Strategic Studies Association, said that CCP bluster surrounding Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan was probably more closely linked to China’s domestic politics than any ambition to conquer Taiwan.

The scale of the exercises, he added, indicated that they had been planned months in advance.

“They’ve been thinking about this for some time,” Copley said in an interview with NTD, sister media outlet of the Epoch Times.

“They probably would have found another excuse to mount those war games before the 20th Party Congress in Beijing in November.”

The CCP’s upcoming Party Congress is a vital event in the Chinese political space, as it will include an election to determine if CCP General Secretary Xi Jinping receives a historic third term in office.

Copley said that Xi was likely attempting to placate hawks at home with his aggressive military posturing, and could become more emboldened and jingoistic should he be reelected in November.

By Andrew Thornebrooke

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