China launches 'Joint Sword' military exercise in response to Tsai Ing-wen's 'stopover' to the U.S.

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The Eastern Theater Command of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) carried out a number of simulated strikes against key targets on Taiwan Island and its surrounding waters in exercises over the weekend. In addition to the mock joint exercises with precision attacks, forces under the command continued to surround the island to maintain "a situation of deterrence and suppression." These operations serve as a stern warning to pressure "Taiwan independence" forces and aim to safeguard national sovereignty and territorial integrity. What are the highlights of these drills? And will the military exercise become a new-normal to deter those separatist forces? We speak to researchers at the Academy of Military Science and the Naval Research Institute of the PLA to find out more. They explain how this month's exercises have demonstrated the PLA's enhanced capabilities to surround the island of Taiwan and prevent foreign intervention from aiding "Taiwan Independence" forces coming from the east. But they add that these drills are only in response to Tsai Ing-wen's provocative visit to the U.S., and aren't against the residents of Taiwan Island as a whole.

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