Tuesday, May 28, 2024

US-Japan simulate military exercise to counter Chinese threat against Taiwan

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China has been named a hypothetical enemy for the first time in a joint command post exercise by the Japanese and US forces. The Japanese Self-Defense Foces and the US military engaged in simulated joint exercise last week amid rising concerns over China’s potential invasion of self-ruled island of Taiwan which Beijing claims as its own.

The computer simulation exercise, which began on Feb 1 and is scheduled to go on till Feb 8 envisioned an emergency in Taiwan. A provisional name was previously used when referring to an enemy, Japan Times reported.

Also watch | US, Japan game out military clash with China

The report added that Japan’s defence ministry is believed to have classified the scenario as a specially designated secret under the country’s secrecy law.

What does it mean? 

The Tokyo-Washington’s simulated move reflects a heightened sense of urgency as Taiwan continues to be at the centre of a geopolitical and geoeconomic spotlight amid Beijing’s avowal for the formation of a ‘unified China’.

The US Central Intelligence Agency Director William Burns said in February last year that Chinese President Xi Jinping had instructed his country’s military to be ready to invade Taiwan by 2027.

The United States and Japan have had a number of joint operation plans in which they envision emergencies. A draft as such about Taiwan completed just at the end of 2023.

What next?

The simulation exercise will have its results reflected in the final plans for a Taiwan scenario scheduled to be compiled by the end of this year. Actual troops are also expected to perform a live-action demonstration of the “Keen Sword” drill around 2025 to verify its efficacy, Japan Times reported.

Japan and the United States began conducting joint drills in 1986, with the two countries holding “Keen Edge” and “Keen Sword” exercises roughly every other year.

Gen Yoshihide Yoshida, chief of the Japanese Defense Ministry’s Joint Staff, however had said at a news conference on Jan. 25 that the exercise “did not envision a particular country or region.”

(With inputs from agencies)

Mukul Sharma

Mukul Sharma is a New Delhi-based multimedia journalist covering geopolitical developments in and beyond the Indian subcontinent. Deeply interested in the affairs

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