Minnie Chan – April 21, 2018
Recent patrols by China’s air force in and around Taiwan appear to be part of a coordinated strike plan across different branches of Chinese military that will encompass the entire area – possibly as preparation for military conflict with the self-ruled island, experts say.
The air force conducted several “island encirclement” patrols in and around Taiwan in recent days, the People’s Liberation Army said on Thursday – one day after the mainland’s navy carried out a live-fire drill in the Taiwan Strait.
Song Zhongping, a former member of the PLA’s Second Artillery Corps, said that although the live-fire drill appeared smaller than expected, that was probably because it was part of a wider mission.
“It seems like the exercise near Fujian was relatively small, but actually, there were several joint operational drills happening in different areas around Taiwan at the same time [on Wednesday],” he said.