X
UCA News

Taiwan

Taiwan-China situation 'most grim' in four decades

Recent incursions into Taiwan's southwest air defense identification zone have included Chinese H-6 bombers

AFP, Hong Kong

AFP, Hong Kong

Published: October 06, 2021 07:55 AM GMT

Updated: October 06, 2021 08:01 AM GMT

Taiwan-China situation 'most grim' in four decades

A F-16 fighter jet is deployed to conduct emergency landing and take-off training during the 37th edition of the Han Kuang military drill in Pingtung, Taiwan, on Sept. 15. (Photo: AFP)

Taiwan's military relations with Beijing have plunged to their lowest point in four decades, the island's defense minister warned on Oct. 6, following a string of record Chinese jet incursions into Taipei's air defense zone.

"For the military, the current situation is the most grim in over 40 years since I've joined the service," Chiu Kuo-cheng told parliament as some 150 Chinese warplanes have breached Taiwan's air defense zone since Beijing marked its National Day on Oct. 1.

The incursions have sparked criticism by Washington and Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen warned in an article published on Oct. 5 of "catastrophic consequences" if the island were to fall to China.

Taiwan lives under the constant threat of invasion by China, which views the self-ruled democratic island as its territory to be re-taken one day, by force if necessary.

President Xi Jinping, who has called the seizure of Taiwan "inevitable," also described the relations between China and Taiwan as "grim" in a letter to Taiwan's newly elected main opposition leader last week.

Chiu warned that even "slight carelessness" or "miscalculation" could spark "a crisis" in the Taiwan Strait, adding Beijing would be in a position to launch a full-scale attack in 2025.

Beijing has ramped up military, diplomatic and economic pressure since Tsai's 2016 election

"It is capable now but it has to calculate how much cost it will have to pay and what kind of outcome it wishes to achieve. After 2025 the cost and losses would be lowered to a minimum," Chiu said, without providing more details.

Beijing has ramped up military, diplomatic and economic pressure since Tsai's 2016 election as she views the island as "already independent" and not part of its "one China".

Tsai said in an article published on Oct. 5 that Taiwan would "do whatever it takes" to guard against threats but the island hopes for peaceful coexistence with China.

Her government urged Beijing to stop "irresponsible provocative actions" after a record 56 Chinese jets including nuclear-capable bombers crossed into Taiwan's air defense identification zone (ADIZ) on Monday.

Thank you. You are now signed up to Daily newsletter

The ADIZ is not the same as Taiwan's territorial airspace but includes a far greater area that overlaps with part of China's own air defense identification zone and even includes some of the mainland.

Last year a record 380 Chinese military jets made incursions into Taiwan's defense zone. The number as of October this year has already exceeded 600.

Also Read

 
UCA News Catholic Dioceses in Asia
UCA News Catholic Dioceses in Asia
UCA News Catholic Dioceses in Asia