Taiwan activates defences in response to China incursions

Taiwan activates defences in response to China incursions

Taiwan scramble fighter jets, put its navy on alert and activate missile systems in response to the operation around 34 sugar The military aircraft and nine warships are part of Beijing’s strategy to destabilize and intimidate the self-governing island democracy.

The massive Chinese deployment comes as Beijing steps up preparations for a possible blockade or outright attack on Taiwan, which has raised major concerns among military leaders in the US, Taiwan’s main ally.

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In a memo last month, US Air Force General Mike Minihan instructed officials to prepare for a US-China conflict over Taiwan in 2025. As head of the Air Mobility Command, Minihan has a deep understanding of the Chinese military and his personal observations. Calls on US to step up preparedness.

Taiwan’s defense ministry said 20 Chinese planes crossed the central line in the Taiwan Strait on Tuesday, which has long been an informal buffer zone between the sides, divided in 1949 amid a civil war.

China claims the self-governing island republic as its own territory, while the majority of Taiwanese oppose coming under the control of the authoritarian Communist Party of China.

The Defense Ministry said on Wednesday that Taiwan’s armed forces were “monitoring the situation … to respond to these activities”.

China has sent warships, bombers, fighter jets and support aircraft into airspace near Taiwan on an almost daily basis, hoping to drain the island’s limited defense resources and undermine support for pro-independence President Tsai Ing-wen .

Chinese fighter jets have also encountered military aircraft from the US and allied countries over international airspace in South China and the East China Sea, in what Beijing has described as dangerous and threatening manoeuvres.

A series of visits by foreign politicians to Taiwan in recent months, including then-US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and several politicians from the European Union, prompted a show of military power from both sides.

In response to Pelosi’s visit in August, China staged war games around the island and fired missiles at it in the Pacific Ocean.

China has repeatedly threatened retaliation against countries seeking closer ties with Taiwan, but its attempts at intimidation have provoked a backlash in popular sentiment in Europe, Japan, the US and elsewhere.

Taiwan is set to hold presidential elections next year, effectively removing term limits to make him leader for life, in contrast to China’s system of total control by president and party general secretary Xi Jinping. China’s efforts to reach out to Taiwan’s pro-unification Nationalist Party have largely backfired.

Although the Nationalists did well in local elections last year, the party’s pro-Beijing policies have failed to find resonance among voters nationally.

Taiwan has responded to China’s threats by ordering more defensive weapons from the US, strengthening foreign ties and leveraging its democracy and high-tech economy to revive its domestic arms industry.

Compulsory military service for men is being increased from four months to one year and opinion polls show high levels of support for increased defense spending to counter threats from China.

In an interview last month, Taiwan’s envoy to the US said the island had learned important lessons from the war in Ukraine that would help it fend off any attacks by China or defend itself if it invades.

Taiwan’s de facto ambassador to Washington, Bi-Khim Hsiao, said there has been a new emphasis on preparing military reservists and civilians for the kind of civil war Ukrainians are waging against Russia.

“Whatever we are doing now is to prevent a repeat of the pain and suffering of Ukraine’s tragedy in our scenario in Taiwan,” Hsiao told The Associated Press. So ultimately, we want to stop the use of military force. But in the worst-case scenario, we understand we have to be better prepared.

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