China has started military exercises in both the East and South China Seas near Taiwan in a clear message that it could invade the island from two sides.
According to two navigation restriction notices issued by maritime safety authorities, the exercise in the East China Sea started at 6pm on Sunday, and is scheduled to conclude at 6pm on Thursday. Another military activity off the coast of South China's Guangdong Province started at 6am on Monday and is expected to end at 6pm on Friday.
The two “military activities” are essentially taking place in waters north and west of the island of Taiwan.
According to Wei Dongxu, a Beijing-based military analyst, quoted by the Global Times on Monday that this time the drills are being conducted in two different areas at the same time, “which is a demonstration of the PLA's strength, determination and capability to safeguard sovereignty and territorial integrity.”
After the US approved a plan to sell $2.22 billion worth of arms to the island earlier this month, China's Defense Ministry announced a military drill near the southeast coast of the Chinese mainland.
Global Times said quoting experts that the drills announced by the Defense Ministry are expected to involve all military branches of the PLA, and serve as a warning to Taiwan secessionists.
Taiwan meanwhile is keeping a close watch on the drills and making efforts to strengthen its defensive positions.