Chinese military and the Taiwan Strait – Update up to 03/12/2023

The files we follow: China in the Indo-Pacific; China’s political and commercial involvement in Africa; Chinese military and Taiwan Strait; China and Eastern Europe…


– Deterrent demonstration on the Sino-Burmese border

The Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) carried out firing exercises in Yunnan, south-east China, near the Chinese-Burmese border from November 25 to 28. The training, whose content remained relatively routine, was organized with a view to deterring Burmese rebel forces.

Indeed, since a surprise offensive by coalition rebel groups at the end of October, tensions in Myanmar’s northern territory have risen sharply. On November 23, a drone attack by insurgents hit an area near the town of Muse in northern Myanmar, destroying 120 of a 258 vehicules Chinese commercial convoy in a fire that spread rapidly.

In this context, the PLA’s initiative does not reflect – as Chinese military representatives and official media have repeatedly claimed – any desire to interfere in the Burmese civil war. It is intended to send a message to all the warring parties, who if they do not comply with the Chinese Foreign Ministry’s call for all parties to lay down their arms, must at the very least refrain from compromising China’s interests, whether political, by endangering the lives of its nationals, or economic, by destroying its commercial resources.

– Southeast Asian frigates call at Hong Kong 

On November 24, two vessels from countries in the region, the Malaysian frigate “Selangor” and the Vietnamese frigate “Quang Trung, docked in Hong Kong for a friendly stopover. On the occasion of their departure four days later, on November 27, several political representatives from the peninsula, as well as officers and soldiers from the Hong Kong garrison, were present to welcome them.

The two ships made this stopover on their way back from the Aman Youyi-2023” joint exercise, held in southern China from November 13 to 22, in which they took part alongside marine forces from four other countries.

– Sino-American communication resumes at three levels

At a press conference held on November 30, Chinese Ministry of Defense spokesman Wu Qian explained the conditions for the resumption of military communication between Beijing and Washington. The latter is reopened at three levels: high-level communication; telephone communication between command theater officials; and finally, communication within the framework of the Military and Maritime Consultative Agreement between China and the United States.

Channels for military exchanges had been suspended, suppressed or ignored by the Chinese side since August 2022, following a visit to Taiwan by Nancy Pelosi, then Speaker of the House of Representatives.

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