Why did China fire live ammunition in front of Taiwan?

On the 30th, China held a live-fire drill on Pingtan Island, Fujian Province (Source: Weibo)

China fires live ammunition just 126 kilometers from Taiwan

Last night, a rare video was uploaded on Weibo, a Chinese Twitter account. It was a scene where bullets and shells were pouring like rain. The dark night sky was bright enough. This is a live ammunition shooting exercise announced by the Pingtan Maritime Bureau of China on the 28th.

The problem was that the shooting practice was held on Pingtan Island, Fujian Province, China. It is the shortest distance between China and Taiwan, only 126 km from Xinzhou County in northern Taiwan (Taiwan).

It has been two weeks since the British Financial Times reported on the 19th (local time) that Chairman Pelosi might visit Taiwan. The level of pressure in China is increasing. The Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives is third in power after the President and Vice President.

“If you play with fire, you will burn to death.”

On the 28th, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian introduced the words of a Chinese defense ministry spokesperson, saying, “If the US does not give up its stubbornness, the Chinese military will not stand by.” It was interpreted to mean that if Pelosi insists on going to Taiwan, he could use force.

Why did China fire live ammunition in front of Taiwan?

Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian briefed on the 28th

On the other hand, Chinese President Xi Jinping even said in a phone call with US President Joe Biden on the 28th (Eastern time) that “If you play with fire, you will die in fire” regarding the Taiwan issue.

On the 29th, UN representative Geng Shuang (耿爽) also repeated the same words at the Security Council meeting. “不要玩火自焚” (here, 玩火自焚 is ‘Wanhu Wotsufun’ in Chinese, and ‘Waifujabun’ when read in Chinese. It is an ancient idiom derived from ‘playing with fire and burning yourself’.)

It’s not just a word of warning. During Taiwan’s annual military exercise held on the 25th and 29th, during the Han Guang exercise, China sent warships to the waters surrounding Taiwan and sent military aircraft to Taiwan’s air defense identification zone several times. The large-scale live-fire training on Pingtan Island on the 30th is an extension of that.

The Weibo account of the People’s Liberation Army’s public affairs organization even used the rather eerie term “preparation for battle” while uploading a video on the 95th anniversary of the founding of the army.

Why did China fire live ammunition in front of Taiwan?

Weibo account of the People’s Liberation Army public affairs organization. It says ‘preparation for battle’.

Why does China block her visit to Taiwan?

Why is China so sensitive to Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan?

Professor Hong-gyu Lee (Director of the Center for Chinese Studies at Dongseo University, Professor of Campus Asian Studies at Dongseo University), an expert on Chinese politics, said:

“China regards Taiwan as its territory that has not been reclaimed. US House Speaker Pelosi is the second in the line of succession after the Vice President in the event of the death of the US President, and therefore represents the United States. If that happens, China will recognize Taiwan as a sovereign state. If this happens, it will be a fatal blow to the leadership of President Xi Jinping, who is about to be re-elected for a third term.”

Why did China fire live ammunition in front of Taiwan?

The Key Reasons China Opposes Pelosi’s Visit to Taiwan

If Chairman Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan remains as it is, it means that the ‘one China’ principle that there is only one China in the world could be shaken. The One China Principle was a concept agreed upon by the two countries when the US and China established diplomatic ties in 1979. The one China that China thinks is the ‘People’s Republic of China’, but the US and Taiwan think differently.

It is difficult for both the US and China to back down

Pelosi is being somewhat cautious as China is really putting a strain on it. At a press conference before departure on the 29th local time, he said, “I don’t always talk about my travel schedule because it’s a security issue.” He did not mention whether he had visited Taiwan.

Why did China fire live ammunition in front of Taiwan?

Twitter of Chairman Nancy Pelosi, who did not reveal whether she was visiting Taiwan

Have you ever canceled your plan to go to Taiwan? However, even from the perspective of the Democratic Party of the United States, it would be burdensome to see that it succumbed to Chinese pressure ahead of the midterm elections in November.

In China’s Baidu and Weibo, the news that “Pelosi didn’t mention Taiwan during his Asian tour” keeps the top search terms. It means that the interest of Chinese netizens is that great.

It is difficult for both the United States and China to back down. Tensions over the Taiwan Strait are likely to continue for some time until the end of Pelosi’s Asian tour.

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