On Aug. 5, the Chinese communist regime’s state-run central television (CCTV) boasted that the Chinese military exercises targeting Taiwan forced the USS Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group to “back away” from Taiwan and U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s plane to “detour” east of the Philippines from Kuala Lumpur to the island.
CCTV interviewed Meng Xiangqing, a professor of the CCP PLA National Defence University, who said in the program that “the intensity and deterrence of the military drills are far greater than before.”
Pelosi paid a 19-hour visit to Taiwan and left the island on Aug. 3, the third stop of her Asia trip after Singapore and Malaysia.
One day after Pelosi left Taiwan for Japan, the Chinese regime’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Eastern Theatre Command conducted live-fire drills in six zones around Taiwan, firing altogether 11 Dongfeng missiles, according to Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense on Aug. 4.
Meng bragged that the drills achieved multiple “firsts,” including the first exercise closest to Taiwan and the first fire test across the island, which “passed through the airspace where Patriot missiles were densely deployed and precisely hit the targets under the nose of the American Aegis Combat System.” He said that the military drills were “a heavy blow” to “foreign interference forces.”
The Aegis Combat System is an American integrated naval weapons system that uses computer and radar technology to track and guide weapons to destroy enemy targets.
According to Nikkei Asia on Aug. 4, Japan’s Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi told reporters that five out of the 11 missiles fired by the CCP landed in Japan’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ). This reveals that the PLA’s missiles did not “precisely hit” their targets.
Echoing the CCTV’s rhetoric, the South China Sea Strategic Situation Probing Initiative (SCSPI)—a Chinese think tank with a Chinese military background—continuously released maps allegedly recording the USS Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group backing away from Taiwan during the PLA drills.
The SCSPI, though touting itself to be an “international research network and not affiliated with any institution,” has several retired PLA officers on its advisory board and research team, according to its official website.
Taiwan Responds Calmly to CCP Coercion: Military Youtuber
The regime has been notoriously using its propaganda mouthpieces to spread fake information both domestically and abroad to fool or coerce its audiences.
“In this military exercise, in addition to military operations, the CCP also launched a lot of cyber warfare and cognitive warfare, including hacker attacks, fake information, and photoshopped pictures, as propaganda tools,” said Mark, a military Youtuber and vlogger of Mark Space, a self-media program on military and aerospace technology.
He told the Chinese language edition of The Epoch Times in a recent interview that the CCP’s propaganda aimed to serve two purposes: firstly, the CCP wanted to tell Chinese citizens that the U.S. army was scared away by the PLA; and secondly, it wanted to confuse the Taiwanese people and erode Taiwan’s confidence.
“However, in the face of the coercion from opposite the strait, the Taiwanese society behaved very calmly. The Taiwan stock market closed last Friday, rising by more than 300 points instead of falling. On Monday, it only fell by 15.63 points. There is no panic atmosphere in Taiwan at all,” Mark said in the interview.
US Navy Won’t Back Away from Taiwan: US Carrier Strike Group Commander
As a response to the CCP’s coercive military actions in the Taiwan Strait, the U.S. National Security Coordinator for Strategic Communications John Kirby said that the United States “will not be deterred from operating in the seas and the skies of the Western Pacific.”
Kirby said this at a press briefing on Aug. 4. He added that the United States would continue “supporting Taiwan and defending a free and open Indo-Pacific.”
“Secretary Austin today has directed that the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan and the ships in her strike group will remain on station in the general area to monitor the situation,” Kirby said, “We will conduct standard air and maritime transits through the Taiwan Strait in the next few weeks.”
The Stars and Stripes, a daily American military newspaper, reported on Aug. 5 that the U.S. 7th Fleet will send more aircraft and warships past Taiwan in the coming weeks.
U.S. 7th Fleet is the largest forward-deployed numbered fleet in the world.
The Navy “will not back away from its normal operations in the Western Pacific,” nor will it be “‘dissuaded, bullied or forced’ by potential rivals like China, Russia, or North Korea into abandoning its mission to maintain open seas in the Indo-Pacific region,” said Rear Adm. Michael Donnelly, the commander of the Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group, at a news conference on the carrier.
The strike group is in the Philippine Sea, according to United States Navy Institute (USNI) News Fleet and Marine Tracker on Aug. 8.
Li Jing contributed to the article.
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