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Taiwan preparing for possible increase in Chinese military drills after Taiwan’s President-elect takes oath

Taiwan President-elect Lai Ching-te (left), Taiwan's National Security Bureau Director-General Tsai Ming-yen (Image Credit: Reuters)

Taiwan is preparing for a possible increase in Chinese military drills are Taiwan’s President-elect Lai Ching-te assumes office. Concerns have increased over potential military exercises by China around Taiwan after Lai Ching-te takes oath on May 20, Taiwan News reported.

In response, Taiwan’s National Security Bureau (NSB) Director-General Tsai Ming-yen on Wednesday said the bureau is taking measures to boost national critical infrastructure.

Following a session of the Legislative Yuan, Tsai Ming-yen said June to November is the season for the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) routine military exercises. He said that the period after Lai Ching-te is sworn in as Taiwan’s President will be the “hot season” for the PLA’s military exercises.

Tsai said, “Whether the CCP will use this (inauguration) as an excuse to conduct military exercises to impose further pressure on Taiwan is something our National Security Bureau is currently focusing on,” according to Taiwan News report.

Asked how NSB plans to bolster national critical infrastructure, he said Taiwan will use dual backup systems and patrol mechanisms, Taiwan News reported.

Earlier today, Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defence (MND) said it detected 4 PLA aircraft and 4 PLAN vessels operating around Taiwan. 4 of the aircraft crossed the median line of the Taiwan Strait and entered Taiwan’s northern and SW ADIZ. The Ministry of Defence said that the ROC Armed Forces have monitored the situation and responded accordingly.

On May 1, Taiwan’s MND reported that 7 PLAN vessels operating around Taiwan were detected up until 6 a.m. ROC Armed Forces monitored the situation and responded accordingly.

According to Taiwan’s Defence Ministry, no PLA aircraft had crossed the median line or entered the southwestern air defence identification zone (ADIZ). Following China’s activity, Taiwan deployed intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance systems and dispatched naval vessels, and deployed land-based air defence missile systems to monitor the situation.

In April, Taiwan’s MND detected Chinese military aircraft 247 times and naval vessels 176 times. Since September 2020, China has intensified the use of “gray zone tactics” by deploying military aircraft and naval vessels over the median line and inside Taiwan’s ADIZ, according to Taiwan News report.

According to CSIS, gray zone tactics are defined as “an effort or series of efforts beyond steady-state deterrence and assurance that attempts to achieve one’s security objectives without resorting to direct and sizable use of force.”