China encircles Taiwan with 19 warships & 49 jets in ‘punishment’ invasion drills as Beijing warns it can ‘seize power’

China encircles Taiwan with 19 warships & 49 jets in ‘punishment’ invasion drills as Beijing warns it can ‘seize power’

CHINA has deployed 19 warships and 49 warplanes to completely encircle Taiwan in the second day of terrifying invasion drills.

Dubbed “punishment” operations, Beijing has warned they can “seize power” from Taipei with ease if they continue to be challenged by the Taiwanese government.

China deployed 19 warships across 24-hours as they surrounded Taiwan in the latest set of terrifying invasion drillsAFP

AFPOne of the Chinese military vessels used in the mock invasion drills that were described as ‘punishment’ operations against Taiwan’s new president[/caption]

AFPTaiwan was forced to scramble their fighter jets to counter the threat of China’s 49 planes deployed around the nation[/caption]

ReutersChinese President Xi Jinping has seen Taiwan as part of its own domain in recent years as he ramps up his planned attacks on the island[/caption]

China has lurked around Taiwan for decades now – with threats of an invasion ramping up in recent months.

Beijing considers the self-governing island its own domain – and vowed to take Taiwan by force if need be.

China sent a chilling message to Taiwan’s government on Friday saying they were heading towards “a perilous situation of war and danger”.

They blamed Taiwan for pushing the Chinese military closer towards to a brutal assault on the self-ruled island saying things will only go “further” if they continue to feel provoked.

This is purely playing with fire, and those who play with fire will surely get themselves burnt

Wu Qian, Beijing’s defence ministry spokesmantalking on Taiwan

Beijing’s defence ministry spokesman Wu Qian said in a statement: “Since taking office, the leader of the Taiwan region has seriously challenged the one-China principle.

“Pushing our compatriots in Taiwan into a perilous situation of war and danger.

“This is purely playing with fire, and those who play with fire will surely get themselves burnt.”

His dauting statement ended with the spokesperson announcing China will not stop the threats towards their neighbours until “the complete reunification of the motherland is achieved”.

It comes as Beijing launched worrying military drills surrounding Taiwan’s isolated territory on Friday morning.

Dozens of warplanes filled the skies above Taiwan on Thursday morning as an armada stormed towards its shores in the WW3 style mock invasion.

The unprecedented move was viewed as “a strong punishment for separatist acts of Taiwan independence forces”.

In just 24-hours across Thursday and Friday, the Taiwanese ministry detected 49 Chinese aircraft including 35 that crossed over the Median Line in the Taiwan Strait seen as out of bounds for China.

Nineteen Chinese warships and seven coast guard vessels were also detected near the strait.

Drills took place from all sides of the island including several other Taipei-controlled areas including Kinmen, Matsu, Wuqiu and Dongyin as part of the “Joint Sword 2024A” exercises.

Just days before the planned operations, Taiwan swore in a new president in Lai Ching-te.

Beijing labelled Lai a “dangerous separatist” for her speeches describing Taiwan as a strong independent nation with a clear identity.

Taiwan condemned Thursday’s military drills as “irrational provocations”.

It quickly mobilised its naval, air and ground forces to “defend the island’s sovereignty,” the defence ministry said.

The defiant island scrambled jets and even placed missile units on high alert.

AFPThe Taiwan Coast Guard was forced to spend hours monitoring their waters searching for Chinese ships in the horror war games[/caption]

EPAChina’s drills come just days after Taiwan’s President Lai Ching-te was labelled a ‘dangerous separatist’[/caption]

GettyFootage showed the moments the Chinese Navy’s Eastern Theater Command launched the military drill around Taiwan[/caption]

EPAThe Taiwanese military has been preparing for a potential Chinese attack by bolstering up their defences in recent months[/caption]

Four fighter jets took off at around 1pm (5am GMT) from a military airbase in Hsinchu, an hour southwest of Taipei, while the city’s coast guard warned off Chinese vessels.

The closest distance the war machines got to Taiwan was around 24 nautical miles (44 kilometres), said senior intelligence official Huang Wen-chi.

Despite the chilling planned invasion, the military said they had “not detected any use of live ammunition”.

Ministry spokesman Sun Li-fang said China’s exercises were “destructive” to regional peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait.

If they wanted to take over Taiwan, they would have done it already

Chen Sian-enTaiwanese local

The presidential office went on to say: “It is regrettable to see China threatening Taiwan’s democracy and freedom and regional peace and stability with unilateral military provocations.”

Despite the military drills around them, the people of Taiwan have claimed life is simply continuing as normal.

Tyre repair shop worker Chen Sian-en, 66, told Reuters: “From childhood to adulthood we’ve gotten used to (China’s) threats.

“They’ve talked about it so many times, but there hasn’t been any real action.

“If they wanted to take over Taiwan, they would have done it already.”

Why does China want to invade Taiwan?

TAIWAN insists it is an independent nation after splitting from mainland China amid civil war in 1949.

But China claims Taiwan remains a part of its territory with which it must eventually be reunified – and has not ruled out the use of force to take the island and place it under Beijing’s control.

The island, which is roughly 100 miles from the coast of south-east China, sees itself as distinct from the Chinese mainland, with its own constitution and democratically-elected leaders.

Taiwan sits in the so-called “first island chain”, which includes a list of US-friendly territories that are crucial to Washington’s foreign policy in the region.

This also puts it in an ideal situation to slow a Chinese attack on the West.

And with tensions between the two nations high, Taiwan is likely to aid China’s enemy if it means keeping its independence.

Taiwan’s economy is another factor in China’s desperation to reclaim the land.

If China takes the island, it could be freer to project power in the western Pacific and rival the US, thanks to much of the world’s electronics being made in Taiwan.

This would allow Beijing to have control over an industry that drives the global economy.

China insists that its intentions are peaceful, but President Xi Jinping has also used threats towards the small island nation.


Taiwan’s newly elected president, Lai Ching-te, took office just days before China’s mock invasion.

Beijing detests Lai as a “troublemaker separatist”.

Lai’s Democratic Progressive party (DPP), which rejects China’s territorial claims to the island, secured a third term in January – a win that set Tepei on a greater collision course with Beijing.

China furiously denounced Lai’s inauguration speech on Monday, in which he called on China to stop its threats and argued the two sides of the strait were “not subordinate to each other”.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi responded by calling Lai “disgraceful”.

Victor Gao, chair professor at Soochow University in China, declared his speed a “declaration of war” and a “watershed” moment in Taipei-Beijing relations.

Taiwan’s foreign minister warned on Sunday once again that his nation was preparing for war as China was stockpiling weapons for an invasion.

Analysts have long feared Xi Jinping is waiting for the right moment to lurch across the Taiwan strait and submit the small island nation to the will of the People’s Republic.

He promised to take it by force if necessary.

Taiwan insists it is an independent nation after splitting from mainland China amid civil war in 1949.

Self-ruled Taiwan is separated by a narrow 180-kilometre (110-mile) strait from China, which has said it would never renounce the use of force to bring the island under Beijing’s control.

For years now, the world has watched anxiously as China ramped up its military drills and menacing provocations towards Taiwan and the US responded by increasing commitments to its faraway ally.

China declared earlier this year that they will never give up their claim to the island, while the said it would “never back down” on the issue.

In Xi’s chilling New Year address he stated that Taiwan’s “reunification” with the “motherland” is a “historical inevitability”.

Observers believe Beijing may try to “strangle” the island using a blockade – while others suggest it will launch a large-scale military landing on Taiwan’s “red beaches”.

In August 2022, China launched live-fire military exercises around Taiwan immediately after a visit by former US House speaker Nancy Pelosi.

That series of exercises, the scale of which was unprecedented, lasted for four days, followed by several days of additional drills.

Taiwan is feared to be a major flashpoint between Washington and Beijing – with a potential invasion forcing the US to abandon the island or face a full-scale war with China that could spiral into WW3.

How China is waging a cyberwar against Taiwan

By Imogen Braddick

Experts have warned China is waging a relentless secret cyber war on Taiwan to pave the way for a full-scale invasion.

Beijing has long used Taiwan as a testing ground for its cyber warfare capabilities – but attacks have been increasing at an unprecedented rate.

According to Taiwanese parliament member Wang Ting-Yu, the island is hit by a whopping 20million cyber attacks every day – and Chinese hackers are responsible for the majority of them.

In a chilling warning in November, former Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen said the island was “facing mounting military intimidation, grey-zone campaigns, cyber attacks and information manipulation”.

And analysts fear China’s escalating cyber warfare is setting the stage for an all-out invasion of Taiwan – which Beijing regards as part of its territory.

Kitsch Yen-Fan, the assistant director for the Global China Hub at the Atlantic Council, warned “we are already at war”.

“This is a constant thing,” he told 60 Minutes.

“Fake news on social media is a way for [China] to pave the way for their eventual operation.

“They want to basically sway public opinions, demoralise the public, to make their eventual takeover that much easier, which is actually what the Russians were trying to do in Ukraine.”

Taiwan insists it is an independent nation after splitting from China in 1949.

Cyber attacks escalated dramatically before the Taiwanese elections in January.

The Taiwan Coast Guard monitoring a Chinese military ship as it sails a few miles north of Pengjia Island

Chinese warplanes were flown around Taiwan in the largest drills seen for some timeGetty

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