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Thoughts on China's military operations in the vicinity of Taiwan
The New York Times asked for an analysis of the two large missions conducted by the PLA over the weekend. Here are my initial thoughts.
I was asked for my assessment for this brief New York Times article on China’s deployment of military aircraft in the vicinity of Taiwan.
* The PLA has operational objectives for these missions, including training and measuring Taiwan’s air defense reactions
* We don’t know which considerations are most important in PLA operational planning, but they are probably quite attuned to the political signaling from such a large deployment
* This is definitely a signal to Taiwan, and President Tsai Ing-wen
* These missions have increased in size and frequency long before President Biden came into office, so it is not as clear a signal to the new Administration, but it is certainly a chance to judge how the new Administration will respond
* The Biden Administration’s statement in response was carefully worded, unambiguous and sent a strong signal of support to Taiwan and US allies, rejecting Beijing’s threats and intimidation
* The Biden Administration’s has affirmed that the US one China policy is based on the US-China Joint Communiques, the Taiwan Relations Act and the Six Assurances in equal measure which is a clear rhetorical strengthening of the US commitment to Taiwan.