China's military has been spending a lot more time working on how to forcefully capture an island, Pentagon says
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The PLA Navy and PLA Army conduct a multi-day and all-factor live-fire red-blue confrontation exercise on Aug. 24, 2022 in Zhangzhou city, Fujian province, China.
China's military is increasingly practicing island capture, Pentagon says.
In a new report, the Pentagon assesses that Beijing's island conquest training is becoming more realistic.
The US accuses China of aggressive behavior around Taiwan and in the South China Sea.
China's military is spending increasing amounts of time conducting drills aimed at forcibly taking islands, according to a new report from the Defense Ministry.
The report, released by the Pentagon on Tuesday, outlines the latest Chinese military and security developments and aims to provide Congress with insight into Beijing's intentions and goals. A comprehensive assessment of China's military might, the report outlines the threat China poses to the self-governing democratic island of Taiwan.
The Pentagon reported that China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) "intensified diplomatic, political and military pressure" on Taiwan in 2021 and stepped up "provocative and destabilizing actions" in the region.
Those actions have included "island seizure exercises" and flights crossing Taiwan's Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) -- actions Beijing has continued well into 2022.
Like last year, island seizure drills have become "more frequent and realistic," the Department of Defense said, explaining that the PLA has conducted more than 20 naval drills with an island seizure element, compared to just 13 such drills the previous year. These drills and drills - some of which were conducted by the Chinese military in waters near Taiwan - have previously been touted in Chinese state media.
"Many of these exercises focused on combat realism and included night missions, training in adverse weather conditions, and simultaneous multi-domain operations," the Pentagon said in its report. Combat realism in training has been a focus of Chinese leader Xi Jinping's military modernization efforts aimed at building a world-class military force capable of fighting and winning wars.
And the Chinese leadership has never relinquished the use of force as an option to achieve its unification goals with Taiwan, which China considers part of its sovereignty.
When specifically assessing possible military action China might take against Taiwan, the Pentagon concluded that a massive amphibious invasion would be tough work for Beijing. Such an operation, one of the more complicated to carry out, would require substantial support, air and sea control, and sufficient supplies. Such an endeavor would place a significant strain on PLA forces, and significant risks exist.
"Combined with the inevitable dismantling of forces, the complexity of urban fighting and potential insurgency, these factors make an amphibious invasion of Taiwan a significant political and military risk for Xi Jinping and the Chinese Communist Party, even assuming a successful landing and breakout." , so the Pentagon said.
However, the Defense Ministry noted that while China may struggle with a full-scale invasion of Taiwan, it is capable of capturing smaller Taiwan-controlled islands such as Pratas or Itu Aba in the South China Sea. The Pentagon also said that an "invasion of a medium-sized, better-defended island like Matsu or Kinmen is within the PLA's capabilities."
Such a move would demonstrate ability and determination while demonstrating restraint, the Pentagon said, but there are still political risks, such as B. Strong international condemnation.
In addition to Beijing's longstanding focus on Taiwan, China also holds competing claims to islands and reefs in the South China Sea, where China has established military outposts and strengthened its position.
The US has accused China of increasingly aggressive behavior around the South China Sea, with US officials earlier warning that China's "irresponsible behavior" could spark a "major incident or accident". The latest warnings came amid heightened tensions between China and the US over House Speaker Nancy Pelosis' trip to Taiwan.
Earlier this month, Vice President Kamala Harris made a rare trip to a South China Sea hotspot, specifically to the Philippine island of Palawan, which overlooks contested areas in the strategic waterway. However, China's response was more muted than when Pelosi visited Taiwan.
Read the original article on Business Insider
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