In early August, China’s military conducted military drills intending to intimidate Taiwan.
The military show of force was not only directed at Taiwan but also the U.S.
Chinese officials were upset that U.S. politicians visited the island because China considers Taiwan to be its territory.
During the drills, the Chinese used missiles, ships, and airplanes to simulate attacks.
Chinese media covered the exercises and paraded the military strength.
Chinese officials had promised serious consequences if U.S. politicians visited Taiwan, and social media users were embarrassed that the military did not prevent the visit.
So, China had to show off its military force after making veiled threats to U.S. politicians.
On Chinese social media platforms, many of the trending topics were about the drills.
Some of the online topics included the discussion of the reunification of Taiwan. One post was viewed by over 500 million people.
But government officials had to do something about the disappointment expressed by citizens.
The biggest difference with the latest drills was that they were conducted closer to Taiwan.
China’s leader has promised reunification with Taiwan by using force if necessary.
Government-run newspapers reported that reunification has “entered a new stage.” TV reports stated that the military actions would become the new normal near Taiwan.
China also said that it would suspend talks with the U.S. related to military coordination.
This means there is a greater chance of a military miscommunication.
Now, one thing that most news outlets are failing to report about the military drills is how the U.S. was watching from very close.
The U.S. had at least four warships sitting east of Taiwan.
This included the USS Reagan aircraft carrier. Yet, beyond the fighting capabilities of the U.S. ships, they were there serving a bigger purpose.
They were gathering intelligence on Chinese capabilities. In fact, here are a few things the U.S. closely watched during the Chinese military drills.
One of the biggest things the U.S. learned from the drills is that military action would begin with a blockade.
A full invasion of Taiwan is unlikely. Instead, China will try to strangle Taiwan by cutting it off from the outside world.
China would block Taiwan ports and attack military installations on the Taiwan coast.
They would also try to block foreign forces that might come to Taiwan’s aid.
This is where the U.S. and Chinese military forces would potentially encounter each other.
The U.S. has promised to aid Taiwan during an invasion, which could lead to direct conflict between China and the U.S.
Aircraft and ships:
During the exercise, China filled the area around Taiwan with jets and ships. There were as many as 80 planes and ships detected in the area.
Chinese officials warned commercial ships and aircraft to stay clear of the area. This forced airlines and shipping companies to use alternative routes.
Also, Chinese warships launched missiles that could be used to deter foreign warships from entering Taiwan’s waters.
China demonstrated that during a blockade they could prevent (some) shipments and air traffic from reaching Taiwan.
One security analyst said, “I fully expect the US to be collecting from a full spectrum — signals, communications, and electronic intelligence — it is just a too good opportunity to miss.”
One less visible part of the military drills was the use of submarines. Not only by China, but submarines from the U.S., Japan, and Taiwan.
The submarines collected an immense amount of intelligence including Chinese warships’ acoustic signatures.
This is the type of data that would be valuable to the U.S. during a conflict.
The U.S. also launched special electromagnetic equipment used to monitor Chinese missiles.
One U.S. official said that most of the systems and missiles used by China appear to be known to the U.S.
Yet, there is no doubt the U.S. learned more about the tactics China would use to take control of Taiwan.
Military drills are a valuable source for intel when two world powers are on a collision course for conflict.
Tensions are ramping up, and it is clear China is looking to take Taiwan back at some point, which could plunge the U.S into direct conflict with the Chinese military.
Keep an eye on this, as it will affect your ability to get goods and services and even food.