On August 18, 2020, the Chinese Communist Party mouthpiece China Central TV reported that, at the end of U.S. Secretary of Health Azar’s visit to Taiwan, the Eastern Theater District of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) announced that it had organized actual combat exercises in the Taiwan Strait and on the northern and southern sides of the Taiwan Strait and made it clear that it was a necessary action for the current security situation across the Taiwan Strait and the maintenance of national sovereignty.
The state media claimed that, as a result of the China military “showing its muscles,” the United States immediately announced the withdrawal of the USS Ronald Reagan from the East China Sea.
“Today it is an exercise in the Taiwan Strait and on the north/south sides of the Strait. Tomorrow it is not impossible to carry out a large exercise around Taiwan Island or even an exercise over the Taiwan Island. The strength, confidence, and determination of the People’s Liberation Army will determine that once the ‘reunification by force’ is triggered. ‘The first battle’ will be the ‘final battle.’”
Source: The Paper Times, August 18, 2020