PLA “Joint Sword” Exercises Day 1 Roll Up

Thursday marked the first day of China’s large-scale military exercises under “Joint Sword 2024A,” which the PLA has previously stated is a “strong punishment for the separatist acts of Taiwan independence forces and a stern warning against the interference and provocation by external forces.”

Exercise areas completely surround Taiwan, simulating a blockade around the island by joint sea-air combat patrols. Likewise, exercises will also take place around the Taiwanese islands of Kinmen, Matsu, Wuqiu, and Dongyin.

The exercises coincide with the inauguration of President Lai Ching-te of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), which resists unification with China and primarily advocates for Taiwan’s autonomy, sovereignty, and independence.

Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense reported that on Thursday, 49 PLA aircraft, 19 PLAN vessels, and 7 CCG vessels were operating around the island during the exercises, which the PLA has also stated will “test the ability to jointly seize power, launch joint attacks and occupy key areas.” The Ministry also noted that 35 of the aircraft entered Taiwan’s ADIZ, marking the largest incursion of the year so far.

The second day of exercises is expected to see joint drills with PLA Rocket Force Units and simulated strikes around and against Taiwan.