TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – The China Maritime Safety Administration (MSA) announced on Saturday, July 17, that the People’s Liberation Army Navy will begin conducting a six-day exercise that will last until July 21.
The MSA issued a warning Saturday morning that the live fire exercise in the East China Sea would take place off the coast of Zhejiang Province and that all ships would not be allowed to approach. The sealed off training area is only 150 miles away from Taiwan, reported the Liberty Times.
The government announced another warning on Saturday afternoon, saying that a military exercise would also be held in Taizhou, Zhejiang, from July 18 to August 3. Ships are not allowed to enter the designated training zone, it said.
Chen Wen-chia (陳文 甲), associate professor at the College of International Affairs at National Chengchi University, said this sudden military exercise was designed to counter the progression of US-Taiwan relations. More specifically, it is in retaliation for a brief stop by a US military aircraft at Songshan Airport in Taipei on July 15. Although the US plane didn’t stay long, it was the second fall in a short period of time.
On June 6, three US Senators arrived in Taipei aboard a C-17 military transport aircraft for a stormy visit announcing the donation of 750,000 doses of vaccine.