Signal to China: Taiwan is flexing its muscles

Signal to China: Taiwan is flexing its muscles

If Chinese planes and ships enter the 12-mile zone off Taiwan’s coast, Taiwan has a “right of self-defense” and will fight back, Lieutenant General Lin Wen-huang told reporters on Wednesday. China’s recent military exercises violated the status quo in the Taiwan Strait.

The closer the invading planes and ships get to Taiwan, “the stronger our countermeasures will be,” Lin said. To fend off Chinese troops, Taiwan will use its naval and air forces and fire from the coast. China views the democratically governed island as part of the People’s Republic. Taiwan, on the other hand, considers itself independent.

View of Taipei City (Taiwan)

AP/Imaginechina/Yan Zhihong A view of the Taiwanese capital Taipei

Warning shots on Chinese drones

Taiwan first fired warning shots to repel drones that flew over its islands near China, the BBC reported on Wednesday. Taiwan’s Ministry of Defense said the three drones were seen flying back to mainland China. The Taipei government has complained in recent weeks about Chinese drones flying near its small islands off mainland China.

President Tsai Ing-wen called some of the drone missions flying over military posts as “grey zone warfare activity”. Zhao Lijian on Monday. Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs expressed anger at such comments. “Uninvited people are called thieves,” according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Chinese fighter jets flying

Chinese AP/Xinhua/Li Bingyu fighter jets maneuver around Taiwan on Aug.

Increased saber noise since Pelosi’s visit

Tensions in the region rose after a visit to Taiwan by top US politician Nancy Pelosi in early August. After the visit, the Chinese army carried out its biggest military maneuvers to date in the waters around the island and also fired missiles. A sea and air blockade and possible conquest were practiced.

Shortly afterward, another delegation of American politicians traveled to Taiwan. According to Taipei, drone overflights also increased after Pelosi’s visit. Taiwan condemned the missile maneuvers and tests in preparation for a Chinese invasion. Taiwan also conducted exercises and introduced new fighter jets.

Outline map of China and Taiwan

Graphics: APA/ORF.at

Since the split between China and Taiwan in 1949, Beijing has viewed the island as a breakaway territory that it wants to reunite with the mainland – if necessary using military force. Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine has raised fears that Beijing may use a similar approach in its negotiations with Taiwan.

US wants to supply more weapons

According to a report, the US government apparently plans to supply Taiwan with weapons worth around $1.1 billion. Politico magazine reported on Monday (local time), citing three different sources involved in the matter. The government wants to ask Congress to approve the agreement. The package includes 60 anti-ship missiles and 100 air-to-air missiles.

However, the focus will be on maintaining Taiwan’s current military systems and complying with existing orders – not on expanding weapons systems so as not to further fuel already heightened tensions with China, the report said. The Office of the US President did not immediately respond to a request for comment. A spokeswoman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs also declined to comment on the report, Politico said. This deal is likely to strengthen already strained relations between the US and China.

American destroyer USS Kidd

APA/AFP/US Navy The US destroyer USS Kidd in the Taiwan Strait

US warships in the Taiwan Strait

On Sunday, US forces sent warships across the Taiwan Strait for the first time since Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan. China described the voyage of the two US warships on Monday as a “provocation”. The US justified the passage. This “underscored the United States’ commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific,” the US Navy said.

According to US information, the ships were two US Seventh Fleet guided missile cruisers. His “routine” passage was through waters “in which freedom of navigation and overflight on the high seas in accordance with international law applies.” “These ships were transiting a corridor in the strait that is outside the territorial waters of coastal states,” the US Navy said.

China: Exaggerated

These missions usually last eight to twelve hours and are always watched with eagle eyes by the Chinese military. China was said to have “excited” the passage of ships through the straits. The Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) is tracking and alerting US ships throughout their voyage and is “aware of all movements,” a PLA spokesperson said. Chinese troops remain “on high alert” and are “prepared at all times to thwart any provocation”.

The Taiwan Ministry of Defense confirmed the passage of the two US warships. “During the southern crossing of the Taiwan Strait, the military is monitoring all relevant movements at sea and in the airspace around us, and the situation is normal,” the ministry said.

Japan as the main base of the US Navy

The US Seventh Fleet is based in Japan. It forms a central part of Washington’s naval presence in the Pacific. The US and its Western allies have recently increased naval transit across the Taiwan Strait and the South China Sea to reassert their status as international waterways, much to Beijing’s chagrin.

Warships from the United States and allies such as Britain and Canada have repeatedly sailed through the Taiwan Strait in recent years, drawing the ire of Chinese leaders in Beijing.