US Trip Pays Off for Taiwan VP? China Drills More ‘Thunder Than Rain’: Experts

NTD Newsroom
By NTD Newsroom
August 22, 2023China in Focus
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William Lai returned to the island Friday from a sensitive visit to the U.S.

China held exercises around Taiwan over the weekend, but on a far smaller scale than previous war games often held in protest toward US-Taiwan engagement.

Ma Chen-kun, a Chinese military expert at Taiwan’s National Defence University, described the drills as quote, “a lot of thunder, but less rain,” adding that Beijing “could not find an excuse to make a big fuss.”

The drill lasted only one day, there was no live fire component, unlike past exercises.

Both Taipei and Washington had sought to keep Mr. Lai’s U.S. visit low-key and officially described it as a “routine” stopover on his way to and from Paraguay.

They also urged China not to use the visit as a “pretext” for military drills.

Chinese state media responded to the trip on Saturday calling Mr. Lai a “liar.”

Lo Chih-cheng, a senior lawmaker for the ruling Democratic Progressive Party, said Mr. Lai’s trip was also about the broader process of introducing him to the U.S. as a steady and trustworthy leader.

Also a Presidential front runner, Mr. Lai has widened his lead to become Taiwan’s next president. That’s based on a Monday poll.

 

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