China’s air force has been accused of posing an ‘enormous threat’ to Taiwan after 16 drills were carried out close to the island this year.
Taiwan’s defence ministry warned today that China’s military threat was growing by the day.
Frequent and increased Chinese military drills pose an ‘enormous threat’ to Taiwan’s security, Taipei warned on Tuesday in an annual defence review that starkly highlighted rising cross-strait tensions.
Twenty Mirage fighter jets taxi on the runway at a northern Taiwan air force base in Hsinchu in 2003. Frequent and increased Chinese military drills pose an ‘enormous threat’ to Taiwan’s security, Taipei warned on Tuesday in an annual defence review that starkly highlighted rising cross-strait tensions
Chinese troops march during a military parade marking the 70th Anniversary of the ‘Victory of Chinese People’s Resistance against Japanese Aggression and World Anti-Fascist War’ at Tiananmen Square in Beijing. China has been accused of stepping up its preparations for a war with Taiwan after jets were spotted circling above the island last week
An expert last week warned Beijing could be plotting an invasion in order to take over the island just east of the mainland by force. Taiwan’s defence ministry warned today that China’s military threat was growing by the day
China and Taiwan split after a civil war in 1949, and while Taiwan sees itself as a sovereign nation, it has never formally declared independence.
Beijing says Taiwan is a part of Chinese territory and will be brought back into the fold at some point.
China has taken an increasingly hostile stance towards Taiwan since Tsai Ing-wen from the island’s pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party won presidential elections last year.
Beijing suspects her of pushing for the island’s formal independence, a red line for China.
Tsai says she wants peace with China, but that she will defend Taiwan’s security and way of life.
In a lengthy report, Taiwan’s defence ministry listed the number of times China’s air force had drilled near the island since the end of October last year and which aircraft were involved, including bombers and advanced fighter jets.
Of the 16 drills, 15 of them were around Taiwan, flying through the Bashi Channel which separates Taiwan from the Philippines and near Japan’s Miyako island, to the north of Taiwan. The other drill was through the Bashi Channel and out into the Pacific.
Chinese soldiers demonstrate their skill with bayonets during a military parade in Beijing. Frequent and increased Chinese military drills pose an ‘enormous threat’ to Taiwan’s security, Taipei warned on Tuesday in an annual defence review that starkly highlighted rising cross-strait tensions
Beijing suspects Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen (pictured) of the independence-leaning Democratic Progressive Party wants to declare the island’s formal independence
China has repeatedly said the drills are routine.
Taiwan’s defence ministry said China was the island’s biggest security threat.
‘The Chinese military’s strength continues to grow rapidly,’ it said.
‘There have been massive developments in military reforms, combined operations, weapons development and production, the building of overseas military bases and military exercises, and the military threat towards us grows daily.’
Chinese missiles can already cover all of Taiwan, and China has been improving its abilities in long-range anti-ship missiles ‘to build an ability to resist foreign forces’, the ministry added.
Tensions rose earlier this month after a senior Chinese diplomat threatened that China would invade Taiwan if any U.S. warships made port visits there.
Taiwan is well equipped with mostly U.S.-made weapons, but has been pressing Washington to sell more advanced equipment.
The United States is bound by law to provide Taiwan with the means to defend itself, to China’s distaste.
Proudly democratic Taiwan has shown no interest in being run by autocratic China, and Taiwan’s government has accused Beijing of not understanding what democracy is all about when it criticises Taipei.