China’s military encroachment on Taiwan likely to backfire: Analyst 

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China’s military drills around Taiwan, aimed at testing its ability to seize power and control key areas, are likely to backfire, according to an analyst.

China is hoping to use grey-zone operations to achieve capitulation by the Taiwanese, to demoralise a population and isolate them internationally, Raymond Kuo, Director of the Taiwan Policy Initiative at RAND Corporation said during an interview with Reuters on Thursday.

These things kind of backfire, Kuo said, adding that when drills like these happen, they tend to drive political support to the green side of Taiwanese politics.

China’s People’s Liberation Army on Friday carried out a second day of war games around groups of Taiwan-controlled islands near the Chinese coast, which a Taiwanese official said included the mock bombing of foreign vessels.

Beijing has said the drills were launched to punish Taiwan’s new president, Lai Ching-te, who they say is a separatist. It strongly criticised his inauguration speech on May 20, in which he urged Beijing to stop its threats and said the two sides of the strait were “not subordinate to each other.”

A senior Taiwan security official told Reuters that several Chinese bombers conducted mock attacks on foreign vessels near the eastern end of the Bashi Channel, which separates Taiwan from the Philippines, practising how to seize “total control” of areas west of the first island chain.

“The exercises are to “test the ability to jointly seize power, launch joint attacks and occupy key areas,” the PLA said in a brief statement on Friday.

The fact that it is closer to Taiwan’s coast this time around appears to reflect the growing confidence of the Chinese military, Collin Koh, Senior Fellow at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies in Singapore, also said in an interview with Reuters on Thursday.

Analysts, regional diplomats and senior Taiwan officials noted the scale of the drills so far was smaller than similar exercises in 2022 and were widely anticipated by Taiwanese and foreign officials, but they still raised the risk of accidents or miscalculations.