The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has announced that they have conducted military exercises around Taiwan amid a delegation of U.S. senators visiting the island nation’s president Tsai Ing-we.

On Monday, a People’s Liberation Army (PLA) spokesperson said that the PLA conducted combat readiness patrols and combat drills around Taiwan, saying that the army is always prepared for war. 

The Taiwan defence ministry counted 30 PLA aircraft and 5 PLA vessels operating around the island, with 15 of the PLA aircraft crossing the unofficial middle line of the Taiwanese strait, which marks the end of Chinese territory and the beginning of Taiwanese territory. 

“The Chinese People’s Liberation Army continues to train and prepare for war, resolutely defend national sovereignty and territorial integrity, and resolutely crush any form of ‘Taiwan independence’ separatism and foreign interference attempts,” said PLA spokesperson Wu Qian.

The U.S. delegation consists of five U.S. lawmakers, four Democrats and one Republican, whose aim was to discuss trade, regional security, climate change and “reaffirm the United States’ support for Taiwan.”

A recent trip by Nancy Pelosi to Taiwan inflamed tensions between Taiwan, China and the U.S. as the PLA engaged in aggressive military tactics; shooting missiles over the island and sending warplanes to buzz the Taiwan strait’s border. 

The Chinese state-owned media agency Xinhua slammed the recent visits by U.S. lawmakers to Taiwan.

“Those U.S. politicians who are playing with fire on the Taiwan question should drop their wishful thinking. There is no room for compromise or concessions when it comes to China’s core interests.”

While the PLA’s boasting of war preparedness is viewed by many as a cause for concern, skepticism is growing over China’s ability to wage a winnable war against Taiwan supported by the U.S.

The Center of Strategic and International Studies has been conducting numerous war simulations in an effort to predict how a potential war between China and Taiwan would play out. 

The think tank concluded that while the U.S. may lose as much as half of the Air Force’s fleet of aircraft, the U.S. and Taiwan would more than likely emerge victorious. 

Senior advisor of the Atlantic Council Harlan Ullman penned an op-ed in The Hill, which raised doubts that the PLA has the capacity to wage an amphibious or land assault against Taiwan while also working against the CCP’s interests. 

“I believe a cataclysmic war is not coming with China and that a direct assault on an island 100 miles away is the last option China would pursue,” reads Ullman’s op-ed.

“Presidents Biden and Chinese leader Xi Jinping both understand that war would be a global catastrophe and thus in no one’s interest, especially China’s.”

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