Taiwan Holds Press Conference On Chinese Military Exercises

On the afternoon of 8 August, the Ministry of National Defense of Taiwan held a press conference addressing the recent military exercises conducted by the Chinese military in response to Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to the independent island.

Vice Minister Yè outlines activities by both sides during the last few days

The first section covered the exercises conducted in the seven designated areas surrounding the island, six of which were declared on 2 August and the last appended on 3 August, noting the ballistic missile and multiple launch rocket launchers landing north, east and south of the island on 4 August, in response to the ballistic missile launches, Taiwanese command judged their trajectory to be of no threat to the island, and opted to not intercept or raise warnings. PLAN surface combatants sailing east of Taiwan and continued PLAAF sorties against the island from 4-7 August. Taiwan’s defense forces first responded to the threats by raising their own alert levels and stationing forces within the island, and began scrambling RoCAF jets and RoCN vesseles against the multitude of threats.

Taiwan’s governmental networks were also disrupted in the last several days, with Denial of Service attacks from several IPs momentarily bringing down several government websites, before technicians configured firewalls and other measures to refuse further requests from the attacking locations, the information was then distributed to the entire governmental network to prevent further attacks.

Vice Minister Yè answers reporters on the press conference

Simultaneous to the disruption to the main Taiwanese island of Formosa, several islands held by the Taiwanese government, such as Kinmen, which is next to the Chinese coastal city of Xiamen, saw Chinese drones disrupting nearby airspace before being dispersed by the firing of flares.

Chinese psychological attacks were carried out over social media before and during the exercise, with a significant peak on 4 and 5 August. After Chinese the state media’s Global Times published a claim that Chinese Su-35 fighter jets were crossing the Taiwan Strait hours after Speaker Pelosi’s landing in Taipei, the Ministry responded with their own announcement that no such crossing happened that night. At a later date, a screenshot of a WeChat conversation claiming that a PLAAF aircraft shot down an intercepting aircraft surfaced on Taiwanese social media in an apparent attempt at demoralizing the Taiwanese population. The presenting officer stressed the need for Taiwanese troops and civilians to be capable of discerning the accuracy of the media they consume, independently verify claims, and avoid sharing fake information on social media. Tensions in the region remain high with China curtailing communications with the US on a number of military and diplomatic levels.