China’s Military Exercises Around Taiwan Put Major Shipping Lanes at Risk

China’s plans for military exercises around Taiwan threaten to temporarily disrupt supply chains as shipping companies look to avoid the area, an important waterway for cargo.

Beijing is preparing live-fire military exercises from Thursday through Sunday in areas encircling Taiwan and in the Taiwan Strait.

While the designated zones mainly lie in international waters, some of them are close to Taiwan’s major ports.

Beijing has issued warnings for ships to avoid the areas of the exercises and Fujian

the mainland Chinese province along the Taiwan Strait, said ships won’t be allowed to enter the area.

Taiwan’s maritime and port bureau has warned ships to find alternative routes to call in and depart the island’s seven big ports during China’s exercises.

The ports are open and operating normally.

Such delays aren’t uncommon at the Taiwan Strait with up to half of all container ships going through the waterway.

Box-ship officials said they don’t expect delays or ship reroutes to extend beyond Sunday.

“The Taiwan Strait is one of the most busy straits in the world.

So, obviously, if it were to close, it would have a dramatic impact on shipping capacity,” said Soren Skou, chief executive of A.P. Moller-Maersk, on an earnings call Wednesday.